US Customs and Border Protection is once again expanding the scope of its facial recognition program at the US border. To that end, the organization has now deployed facial screening technology at pedestrian border crossings in Detroit, Michigan, and Champlain, New York.
With the new system, travelers who make use of the pedestrian lanes in Detroit and Champlain will be asked to submit a photo at a primary inspection checkpoint. That photo will then be compared to the photo associated with that person’s travel document to make sure that the person passing through the border is indeed the rightful owner of that document.
The photos of US citizens will be deleted after 12 hours, while those of foreign nationals will be stored indefinitely on a DHS database. US citizens can opt out of the program when they arrive at the border, in which case they will be directed to a CBP agent for a more traditional screening in lieu of the facial recognition scan.
While CBP devotes much of its attention to border screening at the country’s airports, CBP has taken steps to update America’s land borders in the past few years. The organization has previously installed a face and iris screening system at the Otay Mesa border checkpoint in San Diego, and followed that with facial recognition programs at pedestrian lanes at the San Luis Port of Entry in Arizona and the Laredo Port of Entry in Texas.
November 2, 2020 – by Eric Weiss