CBP Launches Biometric Screening Trial at US-Mexico Border

CBP Launches Biometric Screening Trial at US-Mexico BorderA major biometric border control project has entered its testing phase at the US-Mexico border. The US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) has started the pilot phase of a new system that will collect the biometrics of non-US citizens passing through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.

The project was first announced in late August; having officially launched yesterday, its first phase will see only the collection of the biometric data of non-US citizens entering the country, with an expansion planned for February that will entail scanning those who are leaving to Mexico. The system captures facial and iris biometric data through six kiosks, with CBP’s ultimate aim being to keep better track of the immigrant population in the US through biometric identification. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the scanners can capture an individual’s biometric data in “a matter of seconds,” and only those between the ages of 14 and 79 will be scanned.

The CBP has deployed similar technology in a pilot project at the Dulles International Airport, and appears to be intent on pursuing biometrics as a major component of border screening going forward; indeed, there is increasing interest in this technology throughout the highest levels of government in the wake of the Paris terror attacks last month. While some political leaders harbor concerns about the reach of such technology, it appears increasingly likely to be a major part of border security both in the US and elsewhere in the near future.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune