Feeds

HP to build EU's biometric ID, terror database

System designed for 'future requirements'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A consortium headed by Hewlett-Packard is to develop Europe's 'Big Brother' system for the European Commission. Along with Steria, Mummert in Germany and Primesphere in Luxembourg, HP is to produce a "high-quality technology model" for the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS) II and the Visa Information System (VIS) - Europe's Justice and Home Affairs Committee envisages these two systems replacing a border control system (SIS I) with a far more pervasive one of surveillance, controls and information exchange.

Although HP announced the signing of the contract today, the European Commission tells us the deal was actually struck late last year. We've no idea whether the latest version signifies some change in the contract, or merely that HP Belgium communicates with HP global via messages in bottles. Whatever...

HP's announcement doesn't mention Big Brother, but does follow a mention of the Schengen treaty's aim to "allow free movement of persons in Europe" with... "SIS II, will provide information on wanted persons as well as stolen vehicles, ID documents and banknotes through a database accessed by national police authorities of all participating member states. Once it is fully functional in 2007, SIS II will be much more flexible than the current system and will also be able to store photographic images and fingerprints. In addition, the infrastructure of the new system will make it easier to adapt to future EU requirements."

The storage of "images and fingerprints" relates to Justice and Home Affairs' plans for biometric passports, visas and residence permits, and for an EU standard for national ID cards. The EU has gone further than the basic ICAO and US requirement standard for biometric passports by including fingerprints, and also intends all visas to be biometric (which is where VIS comes in). Residence permits are also to be biometric, and with the ID card standard on the horizon, but not yet specified, the pan-European biometric ID system is taking shape.

Add in various other bits of data sharing (vehicle databases, no-travel lists and a "restricted access terrorist database") and access (various European and national police and security services), and you've got SIS II, which HP is designing so it can grow in accordance with Justice and Home Affairs imaginative "future EU requirements."

HP tells us the system will be fully functional in 2007, and reveals that the servers it will be supplying are the singularly inappropriately-named (they're going to the European Commission, for god's sake...) Integrity Superdome. Not an expression that springs automatically to mind at the mention of Brussels, surely... ®

Related links:

HP announcement
Statewatch explains SIS II
Statewatch on biometrics and EU here and here
Security and interop issues cause EU biometric passport delays
Finger, faceprints get green light for Europe's ID standard

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.