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A Platform for Monitoring and Prediction of Social Impact and Acceptability of Modern Border Control Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - METICOS (A Platform for Monitoring and Prediction of Social Impact and Acceptability of Modern Border Control Technology)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

METICOS aims to develop a platform to compare and integrate analysis of different models, which will be used for predicting and explaining travellers’ and border authorities acceptance of Smart Border Control technologies. In order to measure the efficiency of and the user satisfaction in Smart Borders technologies, technology acceptance theories and corresponding algorithms will be exploited to provide appropriate metrics to authorities and decision makers, so that these may assess/quantify the efficiency and travellers’ satisfaction from perceived quality of products or services. The proposed metrics will measure variables like Technology Anxiety, Performance Expectancy, Effort Expectancy etc.
The major challenge for METICOS is the collection of data for measuring the acceptance of such technologies, directly from the Smart Border Control sites, but without the use of sensors (e.g. cameras) due to the regulatory constraints. Moreover, the evaluation of modern biometric matching technologies through the use of VIS, SIS, EES, etc. or the estimation of Border Authorities’ or travelers’ trust in these procedures through emotion or image analysis is impossible due to ethical, regulatory and security barriers.
During this period of the METICOS project (M1-M18), the consortium has managed to extract the use case requirements and the system specifications and to design, and follow up, a common design methodology in order to ensure the requirement elicitation process that has been used, and will be used, along the project, considering the limitations for the organisation of physical workshops with METICOS end-users, due to COVID.
Use cases initial designs, each one with each own context and goals, have been completed and important elements for the future METICOS work (such as user roles, data exchange and data flows needs, functional and non-functional requirements, technical components, processes, etc.) have been identified. All these elements have been taken into account to design the system architecture and its main technical components.
System and technical components are critical in the METICOS context, but not only software and middleware technical elements have been identified and designed during this period but also different models and algorithms. The big data analysis, design, specification and development have started during this period, focusing on the analysis of relevant data from social media but also for real-time collection and analysis of data from the different pilots. Different techniques for data correlation have been identified according to state-of-the-art algorithms and a complete model for Technologies Acceptance Methodologies and Social Sensing Simulator has been designed.
Regarding the pilots and use cases during this period different tasks have started to define the METICOS knowledge base, how to represent data (inside a common model) for the future big data engine, several datasets have been considered (data and data types) and the initial preliminary work around the data categorisation has been done.
Every task that has to do with the technology acceptance framework has just started. Although there is still little advance the core framework elements analysis has been started during this period. We can highlight some core elements such as: Technology Acceptance Models, Agent Based Modelling, Social Sensing tools, CDME module.
The early-stage design of the METICOS infrastructure will support the fast development, during the next periods, the back-end, the front-end and the different services needed. These designs will model these elements inside the METICOS infrastructure:
METICOS will develop a Platform for Monitoring and Prediction of Social Impact and Acceptability of Modern Border Control Technology and during this period the initial steps for the development of this platform have been performed. Functional and non-functional requirements gathering related to these decision support tools has started in collaboration between all technical work packages.
An important activity of METICOS project was the organisation of independent surveys in 8 different countries, targeting the collection of a large number of questionnaires from citizens and practitioners on METICOS area of interest. The scope of these surveys was to provide a preliminary dataset in order to train our TAM.
In parallel with the aforementioned activities, METICOS planned a number of raising awareness actions and exploitation roadmap area activities, and coordinated the establishment of BES-Cluster.
During this period, the Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) has been created, and it has set up everything that has to do with the ethics requirements inside the project. DPOs from the different partners have been identified and have collaborated with the EAB. The EAB is working from this first period on to ensure compliance of every ethical requirement and need according to the procedures and criteria defined.
METICOS integrates a series of state-of-the-art technological achievements.
Regarding the evaluation of smart border technologies from the citizens and the border authorities, a set of novel Technology Acceptance Models that enables the Border Control and Management community to bring new data and modelling capabilities into practice has been engineered. Further to this METICOS moves beyond the state of the art with respect to modelling methodologies and supporting tools for by exploiting and enhancing the Social Sensing Toolkit by NTNU. Social Sensing toolkit expects to receive the real time border statistics from big data analytics engine..
Regarding the big data analysis of receive data a Big Data Analytics Engine (BDAE) implemented The BDAE module aims to harmonize data from heterogenous sources and, by using a portfolio of Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Statistical algorithms as well as Data Analytics techniques, to uncover patterns regarding acceptance of Smart Border Control Technologies for both border control staff and travelers and to expose the results of the analysis to end-users through an interactive dashboard platform.
Regarding the data collection technologies, METICOS is introducing a secure middleware. This module will be a software system that will facilitate data communication between pilot areas (tablets), including the remote connection with the personal devices of the pilot participants in the case that they will provide their feedback through the METICOS e-questionnaire, and METICOS backend platform. Further to this METICOS middleware will be responsible for the anonymization and protection of the shared information.
METICOS will develop a planning and decision-support tool for border-control authorities that will monitor and predict acceptance (by travellers and staff), secure positive societal impact and maximize border control process efficiency. A balance between traveller’s satisfaction, acceptability and human rights and privacy levels and efficiency of deployed security and screening measures will be considered.
METICOS maximises the returns from EC’s investment in science and technology. METICOS addresses and provide solutions for border control and management planning and optimization thanks to the technology acceptance and social sensing models. IFinally, METICOS allows creating new job opportunities that will have an economic impact on the citizens’ life.