Border surveillance is one of the fields in which the effects of the digital revolution are most noticeable. The increasingly common tendency to massively collect biographical and biometric data, especially with regard to migrants, raises questions about respect for human rights and reinforces power imbalances even within the European Union. From cameras with facial recognition systems to ‘smart’ data collection tools, these new technologies aim to identify and track the movements of people crossing borders.
These systems are based on technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, for the development of which European institutions rely on private companies. It is a booming market, not yet regulated. These technologies still have many limitations, and their first victims are migrants. In addition to the issue of institutional responsibility, this investigation carried out by MIIR looks at the possible human rights violations and tells the stories of some of those who are crossing European borders. The image of the EU as a ‘fortress’ emerges, surrounded by not only physical but also virtual borders, which heavily impact migrants and other vulnerable groups.