Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.

Lecture Notes in Informatics

BIOSIG 2011 Proceedings - international conference of the biometrics special interest group P-191, 3-10 (2011).

Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn

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VISPILOT - towards European biometric visa border control

Michael Schwaiger , Fares Rahmun , Oliver Bausinger and Mathias Grell


To thoroughly prepare the expected start of the European Visa Information System (VIS) in 2011, Germany has implemented and evaluated the biometric visa border control process in a dedicated pilot project. In addition to implementing all necessary software modules for the access to the VIS, the focus of the project was set on the new feature of fingerprint biometrics. Fingerprint verification is applied to the primary position during border control where the process is optimised for fast completion, high throughput and ease of use. Extended identity checks with a quality-oriented border control process are conducted at the secondary position, where also a time-consuming fingerprint identification can be applied. Several tests were conducted during the pilot project in order to evaluate the VIS border control process. Recommendations regarding the implementation and operation of VIS related systems on the national level have been derived based on the evaluation results. 3 The introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS) based on the European Regulation No. 767/2008 [EC-767-2008] mandates European member states to issue biometric visas and check them during the border control process. While issuing of biometric visas based on captured fingerprints of the visa holder was first implemented and evaluated in the European BioDEV II pilot project, the project VISPILOT was set up by the German Federal Office of Administration (BVA), the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the German Federal Police (BPOL) and the company secunet Security Networks AG as contractor to design and evaluate the border control processes of biometric visas. The first part of the project was dedicated to the specification, implementation and installation of all necessary software modules for a biometric visa border control check against the central VIS based on fingerprints. Implementation was done according to the BSI Technical Guideline Biometrics for Public Sector Applications [TR-03121] which requires several BioAPI 2.0 [ISO-19784-1] compliant Biometric Service Providers (BSP) for the acquisition of the fingerprint data during the visa identity check processes. For fingerprint acquisition the Dermalog ZF1 single-finger-scanner and the Cross Match Technologies L SCAN Guardian four-finger-scanner were used during the project. Interoperability and exchangeability of hardware devices was implemented using the BioAPI Sensor Function Provider Interface abstraction according to [ISO-19784-4]. While single-finger-scanners are only applied in verification scenarios, four-fingerscanners can be used for enrolment and identification as well. In general, a maximum of four fingerprints is allowed to be captured for verification. Due to the fact that fast processing time and high throughput is needed at the primary border control position, no additional quality assurance is conducted in this situation. For identification, a tenprint of the visa holder is captured at the secondary position. Additionally, extensive quality assurance is conducted in order to achieve the best possible fingerprint quality. To achieve this goal, multiple captures of the same finger are conducted in order to select the best fingerprint image. Besides stationary border control, verification was also implemented for full mobile scenarios. In the second phase of the project, an evaluation environment was designed and implemented in order to import the results of all visa processes and enable a central evaluation thereof. The evaluation environment is based on the logging and evaluation requirements of the BSI Technical Guideline [TR-03121] which defines a general scheme for logging data of all visa processes. This requires all software modules to deliver the corresponding information in XML format. Consequently, this information is used to generate defined diagrams and statistics in order to monitor all visa processes. Furthermore, the implemented evaluation environment offers the possibility to apply filtering according to the location and the date of the visa issuance and border control conducted. This allows German authorities to react on problems and anomalies in the visa processes as soon as possible. During the VISPILOT project this evaluation environment was used to generate statistical project results. 4 The application procedure for biometric visas of the voluntary participants in the VISPILOT project was conducted at the Federal Police site in Swisttal-Heimerzheim. Until December 2010, the biometric data of about 150 participants was collected. After the implementation and integration of the software modules for visa border control into the existing systems, the evaluation of the border control processes was conducted in February and March 2011. During the pilot project records of all participants were

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