Document and identity verification: what are the challenges

Document and identity verification is the process of validating the credibility of identity documents, for example, passports or visas.

Document and identity verification have become increasingly important in light of a rise in identity document fraud upon entry to the EU/Schengen area. Improperly obtained, forged, or counterfeit passports or visas are being used to facilitate human trafficking and movement by terrorists across borders.

There are three primary ways in which individuals commit identity document fraud:

  • Travel document issuance: EU travel documents are obtained with false breeder documents (e.g., marriage certificates)
  • Document verification: Genuine documents are forged to fit a new identity or immigration status
  • Biometric presentation attacks: When travelling with a stolen passport, fraudsters artificially reproduce biometrics of the former passport owner (e.g., using a high-quality mask or elaborate cosmetics)

Improving identity document verification

How can we prevent identity document fraud in order to secure external borders?

The D4FLY project will improve the current capacities of border authorities in countering identity document fraud by:

  • Identifying critical vulnerabilities for fraudulently crossing EU borders
  • Developing technological solutions for identity and document verification
  • Planning for the implementation of novel solutions in border control kiosks at land, air, and sea borders

Ethical, legal, social impact assessment to ensure sustainable innovation

Trilateral assesses the ethical, societal, and legal issues that need to be considered in the development and implementation of D4FLY technology across European borders.

Trilateral considers the extent to which the project’s proposed solutions –  focused on the integration and application of people identification and fraud detection technology – are aligned with European societal values and applicable legislation, and what measures can be taken to mitigate and avoid any harm to fundamental rights such as the freedom of movement.

Working with end users to test and validate new technologies

Trilateral engages technical experts, lawyers, civil servants, privacy advocates, citizens and human rights experts in the ethics assessment to validate privacy and data protection risks in identity document verification.

D4FLY project’s partners collaborate with end users to validate the proposed technologies, gathering feedback on social aspects such as the perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, potential profiling and societal resilience.

Policy advice

Following the creation of D4FLY technology, Trilateral generates policy recommendations to improve identity document verification and increase border security.

Trilateral will outline criticisms and issues with the existing border control legislative environment, identify the political environment for new legislation in the field, and develop policy recommendations for the future of border control, in order to reduce vulnerabilities at EU border crossings and to increase the accuracy and speed of document and identity verification.

For more information and updated please visit the project website and follow us on twitterLinkedInFacebook, and Vimeo.

EU flag yellow low e1523448262817
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833704

Learn more about our research in the field of

Crisis & Security

Let's discuss your career