Frequently asked questions: FAQ biometric border passage trial

What is the goal of the trial?

The goal of the trial is to test biometric technologies and systems for accuracy and speed. We would also like to know how you, the passenger, feel about this method of travelling. The ultimate aim is to make the travel process at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol easier using biometrics. Anyone arriving at the airport in future who registers their biometric marker, passport and boarding card will be able to pass all checks with ease. Quickly, simply and without having to continually produce your documents, in a seamless flow.

How does the trial work?

At the Passport Control for transfer passengers from a Schengen country to a non-Schengen destination a test set-up can be found. If you are interested in participating in the trial, a Schiphol member of staff will help you complete the three required steps.

  1. At a registration kiosk, scan your passport and have your face scanned. You are now registered.
  2. Go through the regular Self-Service Passport Control using your passport and facial scan. You have now passed the border.
  3. Then pass through the test gate with a scan of your passport and face.

This completes the test, with our thanks for your participation.

How much time will it cost to participate?

Participating in the trial should take approximately 5 minutes.

Who can participate in the trial?

Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and is open to transfer passengers from a Schengen country to a non-Schengen destination, who pass this border and who are entitled to use the Self-Service Passport Control. These are passengers with an EU passport who are over the age of 16.

What is the benefit of the trial?

The trial will take slightly more time than the regular border passage since you will have to register first. However, during peak times when it is busy at the regular border passage from Schengen to non-Schengen, you will be able to jump the queue and pass the border via the test set-up.

Your participation allows us to test operational aspects of the travel process of the future. So we truly appreciate your participation.

Isn't there already Passport Control using biometrics?

There is indeed. But as yet you still have to produce your passport. In future, we want to make it possible to cross the border without having to show your passport, only using facial recognition. And that's not all: plans are to make it possible to drop off baggage using facial recognition and to board aircraft using it too. This will entail being required to scan your passport, boarding pass and face a single time at the beginning of your journey at a special registration kiosk.

Can I participate more than once?

Yes you can. If you participate a second time, you will no longer have to register, but can proceed directly to the Self-Service Passport Control and the test gate.

How will Schiphol handle my privacy?

Your privacy is a major concern for us and of course we will be treating your personal details with the utmost confidentiality.

  • We will process your data in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act (WBP).
  • Your data will be used only for conducting this trial.
  • Your data will be temporarily stored in a highly secured environment.
  • Your biometric details will be stored for research and analysis purposes no longer than for the duration of the trial (1 Septeber 2018 at the latest).
  • You may always have your data deleted before the end of the trial. Please consult the explanation in the questions below to this end.

Can I access the data you have registered concerning my personal details?

Yes, you can do so at the registration kiosk at Schiphol. If you send an email to privacy@schiphol.nl, we will contact you.

How long will you be retaining my data?

We will retain your data until the end of the trial. At the very latest this will be by 1 September 2018. After this, all personal details will be deleted.

Can I have my data deleted from your system at an earlier time?

You can have your data deleted from the system at any given time. Send an email to privacy@schiphol.nl and we will delete your data. In your email, please include your passport number, its expiry date and your date of birth. We will send you a confirmation as soon as we have deleted your data. This will be within four weeks.

What are biometric markers?

Biometric markers are unique physical features, such as fingerprints, irises and faces. These can be used to reliably identify people. During this trial only facial recognition is used (no iris).

What is meant by seamless flow?

Seamless flow is the term we use to refer to the fact that you can pass all Schiphol checkpoints with ease using biometrics. Once you have registered, you can leave your passport and boarding pass in your bag and use your face for identification purposes. For example, you can do so when you drop off your baggage, when you cross the border or during boarding.

Are there more trials with biometrics at Schiphol?

In 2017, Schiphol will be testing various aspects of seamless flow together with its partners. In February 2017, we began a biometric boarding trial together with KLM. For more information, see schiphol.nl/biometricboarding.

Which parties are involved in seamless flow?

Seamless flow is a programme which is being conducted in close cooperation by the chain partners the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Security and Justice, Customs, KLM and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Suppliers Vision-Box and Scarabee are also programme partners.