Border control, security, Id, secure borders

Privacy vs security: seeking common grounds

While the challenge to secure borders has become a recurring topic in an era characterised by decentralised terrorist attacks, mass migrations and impersonations, there is also a heightened awareness about data privacy and usage.

At first sight, data privacy and security could appear incompatible. For the former, citizens want to know how their personal data is used and stored while for the latter, the priority is to get as much information on the traveller in order to assess the person’s eligibility to enter the country or to identify any criminal affiliation.

Although the needs of border control authorities across the globe are very similar, the means and resources at their disposal differ.


How can the security industry offer a secure yet cost-effective solution that can be tailored across the board?


Regardless of the multiplication of automated border control procedures and integrated biometric technologies, everything should originate from a common source – the travel document and respective entry/exit validation documents (travel stamp or visa) - because “both travel documents and biometric-triggered inspection systems will maintain their respective and complementary roles using physical document security during all required ID verification steps.”

By combining science-based security features and digitally-sealed descriptors, SICPA gave the traditional rubber entry/exit stamp a makeover. The enhanced stamp offers governments a scalable and easily adaptable tool while safeguarding traveller ownership of his or her personal information.

The advantages of a digitally-sealed material-based entry/exit stamp are evident in an era where the all-digital has unveiled a number of weaknesses linked to intentional breaches or unforeseen infrastructure breakdowns or outages. Indeed, the advantage of this solution is that it provides a reliable verification and authentication system for roving or remote border control posts that could be off the grid or offline.  

To find out more about the challenges of identity protection and authentication, read Dr Jean Solomon’s paper written for the INTERPOL World Reader “Secure Borders and Identity Preservation in the Digital Age”. The INTERPOL World Reader is a compilation of articles by speakers and contributors to the INTERPOL World Congress 2017*.


*INTERPOL World is a global exhibition and congress platform, encapsulating the vision of a safer world through using innovations and engaging government, organizations, and strategic think tanks in a multi-stakeholder approach.