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Scientists from the MUT in the European project PROTECT

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Sci­en­tists from the Insti­tute of the Opto­elec­tron­ics of the Mil­i­tary Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy take part in project PROTECT (Per­va­sive and UseR Focused Bio­meT­rics Bor­dEr ProjeCT), Hory­zont 2020. The main coor­di­na­tor from the MUT is Marcin Kowal­s­ki, DSc, Eng., from the Insti­tute of the Opto­elec­tron­ics.

PROTECT is 3-year EC H2020 project fund­ed under the Secure Soci­eties workpro­gramme and which com­menced on Sep­tem­ber 1st 2016.

The main aim of PROTECT is to build an advanced bio­met­ric-based per­son iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem that works robust­ly across a range of bor­der cross­ing types and that has strong user-cen­tric fea­tures.

Advances in bio­met­ric tech­nol­o­gy promise improved secu­ri­ty solu­tions for bor­ders while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly improv­ing the traveller’s expe­ri­ence through expe­dit­ed cross­ing of the bor­der. The  PROTECT project deals with the prob­lem of queu­ing but also that of proac­tive­ly detect­ing spoof­ing attempts through advanced appli­ca­tion of mul­ti­modal bio­met­rics and counter spoof­ing. Specif­i­cal­ly, the PROTECT sys­tem will inves­ti­gate and pro­pose new less obtru­sive approach­es to bio­met­ric data cap­ture and ver­i­fi­ca­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly the use of emerg­ing and con­tact­less bio­met­rics. In par­tic­u­lar, an exten­sion to exist­ing ABC gates will be con­sid­ered where­by the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process takes place in a bio­met­ric cor­ri­dor that can be passed by the trav­eller with­out stop­ping. Such an approach will opti­mise secu­ri­ty and integri­ty of facil­i­ta­tion of trav­ellers, as well as enhanc­ing the expe­ri­ence for cit­i­zens includ­ing for non-EU and fre­quent trav­ellers.

A crit­i­cal issue with bio­met­rics aris­es with the col­lec­tion of bio­met­ric data, which could be con­strued as being in con­flict with fun­da­men­tal human rights such as the right of lib­er­ty and the right to pri­va­cy and data pro­tec­tion. Thus, user require­ments on a bio­met­ric-based per­son iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem do not only stem from the oper­a­tors of the bor­der, but also from the peo­ple being iden­ti­fied. This mat­ter requires very care­ful con­sid­er­a­tions to find the bal­ance between the need of secu­ri­ty and the pri­va­cy inter­ests of the Euro­pean pop­u­la­tion. PROTECT will seek ways to put the cit­i­zen or legal res­i­dent back in a posi­tion where­by they have vis­i­bil­i­ty of their per­son­al data and its mean­ing.

In sum­ma­ry, PROTECT aims to research and pro­to­type addi­tion­al bio­met­ric modal­i­ties and meth­ods of their appli­ca­tion for the ben­e­fit of Euro­pean bor­der con­trol and the indus­try that sup­ports it, whilst con­is­der­ing the impact upon leg­is­la­tion, cit­i­zens’ and res­i­dents’ rights and free­dom to trav­el and the wel­come the EU offers to third coun­try nation­als.

First PROTECT pro­to­types were pre­sent­ed dur­ing The Secu­ri­ty Research Event 2018 in Decem­ber 2018 in Brus­sel.

The over­all project coor­di­na­tor is the Uni­ver­si­ty of Read­ing, UK. As a whole, the project inte­grates the project 10 part­ners along with an exter­nal Legal and Eth­i­cal Advi­so­ry (ELAG) Group and a Stake­hold­er Group.

pro​ject​pro​tect​.eu

Project details:

  • Project acronym: PROTECT
  • Par­tic­i­pants: Unit­ed King­dom (Coor­di­na­tor), Aus­tria, Ger­many, Poland, Bel­gium, France
  • Project N°: 700259
  • Total costs: € 4 981 752
  • EU con­tri­bu­tion: € 4 981 752
  • Dura­tion: Sep­tem­ber 2016 to August 2019

col. Anna Pęzioł
pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Mag­dale­na Wiśniews­ka-Krasińs­ka