Lie detector tests on EU borders will soon be operational, initially in Latvia, Greece and Hungary. The goal of this initiative is to assist border control officers in identifying those with terrorism or criminal intent.


The European Union has invested £4 million in the Intelligent Border Control (IBORDERCTRL) technology which has been developed in the UK by Manchester Metropolitan University.

With 700 million travellers crossing the external borders annually border control officers are increasingly pressurised. Checking documents against each person carrying them is not an easy task. It is hoped that IBORDERCONTROL will speed up the process.

The 3 countries to trial the system have been chosen because they have borders with countries which are not members of the EU. If the system works as it should, border control officers will easily be able to identify those attempting to cross illegally. This should in turn reduce the risk of criminals and terrorists entering the bloc.

The project is being coordinated by Luxembourg company, European Dynamics.  Spokesman for the company, George Boultadakis, says that existing approved technology will be employed in addition to new technology.

The IBORDERCTRL technology is capable of identifying deceit, in addition to biometrics. Although the system is still being laboratory tested, the intention is to make it operational in December 2018 over a 9 month period as a trial.


There are two initial pre-screening phases that travellers will be obliged to complete with IBORDERCTRL.

The first requires people attempting to cross borders to upload images of their travel documents, including visas and passports, as well as proof of income.

The second phase involved them being asked questions by a virtual border control guard which will be customised to match the ethnicity, language and gender of the person being processed. The virtual phase software identifies micro-expressions as the traveller responds, thereby calculating whether they have lied or not.

These initial phases take place before anyone gets to the border. The technology also informs people of their rights and draws their attention to the consequences of illegal activity.

IBORDERCTROL’s ability moves on to take fingerprints and palm vein scans if it identifies a risk. After this the risk of allowing the traveller to cross is re-evaluated.  Should it decide the person is of high risk after this, a human border control officer will take over?

Are lie detector tests on EU borders a good idea?

As providers of polygraph tests in the UK and Ireland, we naturally believe that lie detector tests on EU borders will be beneficial.  But we also believe most people want to feel safe and secure with visitors to their countries.  Anything that achieves a reduction in criminal and terrorist activity has to be a good thing.  We watch with interest to see how this pilot project pans out.

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