A 2018-story concerning the arrest of an Albanian citizen in Slovenia illustrates the critical role that algorithms play in 21st Century border security. On November 2, 2018, an Albanian man attempted to enter the Schengen area at Jože Pučnik international airport before a “special algorithm” notified a border police officer, and he was arrested (AlgorithmWatch, 2019). After searching the man, police discovered fake documents, a Western Union money transfer, as well as photographs for obtaining a fake visa on the man (ibid). The algorithm caught the illegal entry by cross-checking the name against a national no-fly database. Since 2017, the Slovenian police have amassed a database of PNR (Passenger Name Records) from over 800,000 passengers. The system scans for passengers with criminal records as well as suspicious data points like ‘illogical or unusual’ flight behavior (ibid).
Such practices are currently being fought over in court, with the Slovenian Human Rights Ombudsman claiming that the algorithmic system lacks a constitutional basis (ibid).