What were the main objectives of the project aimed at automating the identification and authentication of travel documents at Brazil’s border operations?
Due to the very diverse racial mix in Brazil, the Brazilian passport has become an extremely valuable asset in the illegal trade of travel documents. Furthermore, following the events of September 11th 2001 in the USA, the wave of insecurity throughout the world has resulted in the adoption of strict anti-terrorism measures on a global scale.
The Brazilian Government has in turn been obliged to improve and modernize international traffic control in ports, airports, and borders, and to produce a travel document that complies with international safety standards designed to prevent fraud and identity falsification.
To fulfil the Brazilian Government’s requirements on security policies, and among them the need to improve and modernize migratory control in Brazil, the federal data processing service, SERPRO (or Serviço Federal de Processamento de Dados) was assigned to develop systems integrating the Program for the Modernization, Responsiveness, Improvement and Security of International Traffic Inspection and Brazilian Passport Control - PROMASP, implemented for the Brazilian Federal Police Department of the Justice Ministry, in partnership with the Brazilian Mint (or Casa da Moeda do Brasil).
As well as creating a new passport model with the implementation of appropriate security elements, the system for migratory control, that was to be installed across the country, needed to deploy technologies capable of reading and authenticating travel documents, and comparing passengers’ biometric data. The system provides online information update and recovery, which will enable monitoring the migratory flow of Brazilian and foreign citizens, this being an important decisional tool for handling international traffic in Brazil.
What were SERPRO IT requirements to achieve the project?
The technological solution SERPRO needed had to enable secure and seamless software and hardware integration for the user, provide travel documentation identification and authentication, and be compliant with the international safety standards stipulated by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), an UN specialised agency, and responsible for setting security criteria mandatory in travel documents for member countries.
For each people on the move, the system will automatically capture the relevant passenger information from the standard ICAO travel document or e-passport, identify and authenticate the document, checking its validity, and establishing whether the document is faked or has been tampered with, and then, having confirmed the document’s validity, confirm that the person carrying it is the rightful owner using biometric face and fingerprint comparison methods.
Integration with other Federal Police systems and online inquiries on any problem regarding passengers will improve security in the monitoring of people entering and leaving the country. The system will also keep records of foreigners residing illegally in the country, issue notifications for designated foreigners to leave the country, and call to account those foreigners’ infringing their visitor status.
What challenges did the project present?
The main challenge was to align current procedures with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) international recommendations and also create a more secure travel document ensuring better credibility for Brazilian citizens internationally. In other respects, the major challenge was modernizing the entire international traffic control system.
The solution provides methods and technology for this automation with the installation of equipment at many sites across the country. The solution is also integrated within existing systems used by the Federal Police, and operates seamlessly with electronic capture and automatic image processing for all travel documents.
What did Bull’s solution consist of?
The solution comprises a processing platform combining Bull security technology with third-party technologies to provide multilayer security applications. This platform enables integration of many biometrics solutions, and is scalable to include existing and emergent technologies.
The solution reads and authenticates ICAO passports, and e-passport documents compatible with smart card standards having no RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) contact. The document authentication solution is the only one that can automatically authenticate MRE (“Machine Readable”) documents such as passports, visa, immigration cards and identity cards.
The solution was implemented in collaboration with the SERPRO development team. Delivery and implementation of the entire solution took place between December 2005 and March 2006. Bull’s solution is a multi-layered solution.
What are the main benefits of the Bull’s solution?
It will modernize and improve international traffic control security in Brazilian ports, airports and borders, using one of the most modern, comprehensive and effective Identification and Authentication Systems, bringing Brazil into line with international border inspection security standards.
Improved migratory control will raise the country’s credibility, and that of Brazilian citizens, internationally, and will greatly reduce the country’s current vulnerability to the clandestine entrance of foreigners, or the use of falsified ID documents, and will identify those without the right to enter the country. One of the most important promises of the system is the streamlining of monitoring systems with security, for the improved comfort of travelers, and to ensure more efficient operating conditions for the Federal Police agents.