Starting in 2022, Iceland will be taking up new border surveillance technology that will be used across the Schengen Area, Fréttablaðið reports.
The system, created by the French tech company IDEMIA, would apply to anyone from outside the Schengen Area visiting Iceland. Upon arrival, such visitors will have their fingerpints and facial portrait taken. This is then added to an EU database. Upon leaving the Schengen Area, another facial portrait is taken and compared to that which is in the database. Each person’s data in the database is held there for three years.
The stated purpose of this measure is, amongst other things, to determine if someone has stayed in the Schengen Area for longer than they are permitted to do so.
Jón Pétur Jónsson, chief of police for the border division of the National Police, sees other applications as well, outside of the border, saying it could be used “for example if someone who doesn’t have any identification does not identify themselves to the police, it will be possible to identify them by comparing their photo to what’s in the database.”
Further details on the matter have been reported on by Business Wire.
While IDEMIA has been praised, amongst others by the US Department of Commerce, for the accuracy of their technology, the ACLU has been one of the many critics of the technology, expressing concerns about the data being sold to third parties. Furthermore, investigations of the technology have found that it can have a racial bias.
Regardless, this new border system will go into full effect in 2022.
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