Identity document fraud poses a serious challenge for European border guards securing external borders. In 2017, border guards detected 6,700 individuals travelling with fraudulent documents upon entry to the EU/Schengen area and the amount of actual fraud is likely to be significantly higher. False breeder documents, forged or counterfeit travel documents or imposter fraud may offer nearly indiscernible means for travelling across borders undetected.

Document fraud also plays a significant role in migrant smuggling, which presents a critical criminal threat to the EU and can lead to human rights violations. Although travel documents are increasingly being embedded with sophisticated security features, new methods of bypassing them or spoofing them continue to emerge.


The primary objectives of D4FLY are to explore, develop and validate new technologies for identity and document verification—including biometrics “on-the-fly”— to reduce vulnerabilities at EU border crossings, and to increase the accuracy and speed of document and identity verification.

Our Role

Within D4FLY, Trilateral is focused on data protection management and the privacy, ethical and societal impact analysis of the new technologies in order to ensure that these technologies comply with, or even enhance, EU fundamental values and laws.



Key aspects of the project are:

  • Development of new technologies for document and identity verification
  • Analysis of ethical and privacy issues, including those for the most vulnerable groups crossing EU borders
  • A plan for implementing the new technologies so they can be used by border guards working at land, air, and sea borders



D4FLY will:

  • Identify the most critical vulnerabilities for fraudulently crossing EU borders
  • Develop and test realistic technological solutions to these vulnerabilities
  • Disseminate the knowledge gained by the development and tests of the technologies
  • Analyse and disseminate the privacy, ethical and societal impact of the technologies

For more information and updates, visit the D4FLY project website and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Vimeo.


Please contact our team for more information:


Zachary J. Goldberg, Senior Research Analyst and part of the Applied Research and Innovation team at Trilateral Research.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833704

‘Risk Assessment Report and Methodology’

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