The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency plans to step up its use of biometrics and facial recognition technologies, and is looking for a vendor to help it in the effort. The government agency has posted a new draft Request for Quote concerning its Passenger Systems Program Directorate (PSPD) with the Office of Information and Technology, seeking “to procure the full range of life cycle services for CBP PSPD (and potentially other OIT directorates) suite of Traveler Processing and Vetting Software (TPVS) applications and related specialized equipment.”
It is, in other words, a modernization effort of the CBP’s traveler processing systems, with the contract scheduled to start in December and potentially lasting until May of 2025. And it will see the migration from a focus on biographic data to a focus on biometric data, with the agency asserting in its solicitation that a “biometrics-based approach allows threats to be pushed-out further beyond our borders before travelers arrive to the U.S.”
The CBP has already demonstrated a strong interest in biometric traveler identification, generally revolving around facial recognition, in recent border deployments, and particularly in airports. Partnering in some cases with private sector organizations including airports and airlines, the CBP has pioneered automated systems designed to match passengers against flight manifest records.
This focus will continue, with the CBP’s solicitation asserting that “[i]ntegration of facial recognition technologies is intended throughout all passenger applications.” This will include the replacement of Global Entry program kiosks with new solutions based on facial recognition, among other measures.
As Nextgov notes, the CBP’s draft solicitation also describes a plan to move traveler processing technology to cloud-based technologies, with officials aiming to have all such applications in the cloud by 2024.
August 12, 2019 – by Alex Perala