Airport security lie-detector tests to be trialled in Europe

EU-funded project will use facial recognition technology as part of automated border control system.

Lie-detector tests in airports could become a reality if trials with new facial recognition software prove successful.

An EU-funded project is about to get under way in Hungary, Latvia and Greece, using an "automated border-control system that will put travellers to the test using lie-detecting avatars," according to the European Commission. The aim is to speed up queues as well as increase security at the EU’s external borders.

The project is called ‘IBORDERCTRL’ and it is developing an ‘intelligent control system’, which will pose travellers questions through an animated border guard on a screen, before they reach the border, whether that be land, air or sea.

"We’re employing existing and proven technologies – as well as novel ones – to empower border agents to increase the accuracy and efficiency of border checks," said project coordinator George Boultadakis of European Dynamics in Luxembourg.

"This system will collect data that will move beyond biometrics and on to biomarkers of deceit."

Before reaching the airport or border crossing, travellers will use an online application to upload pictures of their passport, visa and proof of funds where required, then use a webcam to answer questions from a computer-animated border guard, personalised to the traveller’s gender, ethnicity and language.

Technology designed for ‘deception detection’ will then analyse the micro-expressions of travellers to figure out if the interviewee is telling the truth.

Upon reaching the border, any travellers who were flagged as low-risk will continue onward to a short re-evaluation of their information for entry to the country. Higher risk passengers will be referred for a more detailed check, involving biometrics and which could involve a border guard taking over from the automated system.



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