Data Driven Insight for Biometrics, Digital Identity & eIDs

Biometrics, Mobility, Digital Identity, ePassports, eIDs, Automated Border Control, eGates, Secure Documents...

EU End to Passport Free Travel Big Boost for ABC?

Posted: May 13th, 2011 | Author:

The latest news form Europe is that passport free travel across the Schengen area may be a thing of the past.  In response to the influx of Arab spring’s  flood of refugees, “European interior ministers agree to ‘radical revision’ of Schengen amid fears of a flood of migrants from north Africa“.

The extremely scary part of this development is that it is being driven by a “resurgent Europhobic far right across the EU”.  Yikes.

In a serious blow to one of the cornerstones of a united, integrated Europe, EU interior ministers embarked on a radical revision of the passport-free travel regime known as the Schengen system to allow the 26 participating governments to restore border controls.

The border-free region embraces more than 400m people in 22 EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. It extends from Portugal to Russia’s borders on the Baltic, and from Reykjavik to Turkey’s border with Greece.

The move to curb freedom of travel came as the extreme nationalist right, which is increasingly influencing policy across Europe, chalked up a notable victory in Denmark, which announced it would unilaterally re-erect controls on its borders with Germany and Sweden

So, while I am somewhat chilled by the motivation, it would seem Automated Border Control processes at air, land and sea ports for people, and personal and commercial vehicles will be critical to minimize the impact of these measures on cross border facilitation.

I would imagine (and hope) that some of this “Europhobic” hysteria will be tempered over the next few months and years, though in the short term it will likely provide a boost to the industry.

We must, however, be very careful as an industry NOT to be seen as a vehicle for the expression of right wing politics. The consequences of  becoming embroiled in the midst of an idealogical struggle will not only be detrimental to the industry but will be a major set back  for the work that has been done to  promote electronic identity as  a path to the preservation and even expansion of privacy and civil liberties.

Cheers,
Maxine


Filed under: Airport Security, Automated Border Control, Biometrics, Document Readers, ePassports, Mobility | No Comments »

A Kodak Moment

Posted: May 4th, 2011 | Author:

In many ways the evolution of the  identity credential market is likely to mimic what transpired around the turn of the 21st century in the film photography market.

The decade started well enough for Eastman Kodak. In 2000 it clocked film revenues of $11 billion, had 70,000 employees and 14 factories around the world. Then things started going pear shaped. Come 2009, revenues from the sale of film had fallen to $1.3 billion, the workforce had dropped to 20,000 and the number of factories had gone down to one.

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Filed under: Data Driven Analysis, eIDs, ePassports, eVisas, National ID | No Comments »