Finnish authorities are piloting a digital passport in a partnership between Finnish Border Control, Finnair, the airport company Finavia, and airports in Edinburgh, London, and Manchester.
Participants are able to use a mobile-based “Digital Travel Credential” when moving through border control — an ostensibly more convenient option than a physical passport, but the registration process is somewhat involved. Finnish citizens who participate in the trial are required to go in person to the Vantaa Main Police Station, where they must submit their physical passport and undertake a face scan.
It’s a one-time hassle, of course. From there, participants can use the FIN DTC Pilot mobile app to store a virtual version of their passport. When traveling, the user’s information must be submitted through the app to the Finnish Border Guard between 36 and four hours prior to departure. Upon arrival at a participating UK airport, a traveler can proceed to a dedicated screening lane, where they will undergo a face scan. Biometric technology is used to match the user’s face to the DTC information on file.
To help fight against fraud, the DTC app requires the user’s smartphone to have some sort of lock activated, requiring either biometric authentication or a PIN.
In a statement, the Finnish Border Guard explained that the DTC “is a digital version of a physical passport and is equally reliable,” adding that the solution “allows smooth and fast border crossings without compromising security.”
The pilot is scheduled to run until February of 2024.
September 5, 2023 – by Alex Perala