U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is deploying facial recognition technology to streamline screening procedures at the Laredo Port of Entry. The organization will install cameras at three pedestrian lanes sometime in early November, and plans to expand the program to the remaining 19 pedestrian lanes during the week of December 2.
The facial matching program will ask travelers to pose for a photo at the primary border checkpoint. That live photo will then be matched against the Visa or passport photo when the individual submits their travel document to a CBP agent for inspection.
U.S. citizens who do not wish to have their photo taken will have the opportunity to opt for an alternative form of identity verification. To address privacy concerns, CBP indicated that it will delete photos of U.S. citizens 12 hours after they pass through the border, although any photos of international travelers will be stored in a database with the Department of Homeland Security. In that regard, it is worth noting that the CBP’s facial recognition database was breached during a cyberattack against one of its subcontractors earlier this year.
Despite the setback, CBP has steadily increased its use of facial recognition technology. The agency has introduced biometric screening at numerous airports and land borders, has also explored the possibility of drones and body cameras equipped with facial recognition tech. CBP recently put out a call for vendor partners to improve its biometric capabilities.
November 6, 2019 – by Eric Weiss