The project “Borders, Technology and Human Rights: opening border control programs to citizen participation” embraces two exploratory researches conducted together with the Paraguay NGO TEDIC – Tecnologia y Comunidad between the months of July 2021 and March 2023. The studies were motivated by the lack of transparency related to the deployment of technologies used for public security purposes at the triple border area between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina and focused on the defense of fundamental rights at the intersection between data protection, public security and border control.

Therefore, these researches aimed at enhancing the public understanding of the installation and operation of the Integrated Border Operations Center (CIOF), of the Muralha Inteligente program and of the Automated Migratory System for Facial Recognition (SMARF). These are border control systems whose objectives are related to the customs control, containment of crimes and smuggling of goods, and the registration of citizens who cross the border between Paraguay and Brazil.

Based on a documentary research, Freedom of Information Act requests, and interviews, these studies took an in-depth look at how such systems are structured, as well as government relations and the justifications for the development and implementation of the CIOF, Muralha Inteligente and SMARF programs. The conclusions of the researches highlighted the information opacity related to how these programs work. They also present and seek to deconstruct the supposed tension between public security in the border area and the protection of human rights such as privacy and data protection.