US Customs and Border Protection’s biometric passenger screening system has arrived at the Denver International Airport.
Called ‘Simplified Arrival’, the system revolves around facial recognition, which is used to match travelers against their passport and visa photos, thereby confirming their identities. Likewise, the system can detect imposters when face biometrics do not match, with the CBP having disclosed several such incidents at other border checkpoints where Simplified Arrival has been implemented.
These recent deployments have arrived at a time of growing scrutiny over the use of facial recognition technology, thanks to concerns about intrusive surveillance and potential racial and gender bias in the accuracy of facial recognition algorithms.
In a statement announcing the Denver deployment of Simplified Arrival, the CBP emphasized its commitment to travelers’ privacy, noting that it “has employed strong technical security safeguards and has limited the amount of personally identifiable information used in the facial biometric process.” The CBP also asserted that its technology is based on “one of the industry’s highest ranked facial comparison algorithms”, as per testing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The deployment comes about half a year after CLEAR, a biometric passenger screening specialist, signed a three-year renewal of its partnership with Denver International Airport. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile – of which the CBP is a component agency – had first started trialing biometric passengers screening at Denver International Airport back in 2017, in a fingerprints-focused collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration.
June 8, 2021 – by Alex Perala