A consortium consisting of French security and identity solutions company IDEMIA and a European information technology consultancy, Sopra Steria, has announced it was awarded a contract to deliver a new shared biometric matching system (sBMS) by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA).
The contract, which is for an initial four years but can be extended to up to six years, has the potential to be one of the largest biometric systems in the world once it is integrated into the existing biometric databases in Europe Union, with a database containing the fingerprints and faceprints of over 400 million third-country nationals, as it becomes a primary solution to Europe’s entry/exit system in the Shengen area.
The Shengen area is a travel zone of 26 European countries that have officially abolished their borders, passports, and all types of border control for their mutual borders. The area functions as a single jurisdiction for travel purposes.
The sBMS will be aimed at fighting irregular immigration and trans-border crime, and will not only serve the Entry/Exit System (EES) but also existing systems such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), Eurodac (European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database), and the future ECRIS-TCN (European Criminal Records Information System for Third Country Nationals).
“We thank eu-LISA for their renewed trust,” said Philippe Barreau, Executive Vice President of IDEMIA in charge of Public Security & Identity. “As a contributor to the Smart Borders Initiative from the first discussions with the European Commission, IDEMIA is looking forward to shaping the outcome of this major project, based on our comprehensive understanding of the current European systems.”
“As European leader in digital transformation and Homeland Security, Sopra Steria is proud to extend its long-standing partnership with eu-LISA contributing to the implementation of an essential and central piece not only for the future Entry/Exit System but also for the other Core Business Systems,” commented Laurent Giovachini, Deputy CEO from Sopra Steria. “I am convinced that this consortium brings the best solution and service offer to accompany eu-LISA in the achievement of its challenges and to deliver the future shared biometric system with high value for its users,” he added.
June 4, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis