US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is hoping that more Global Entry travelers will start taking advantage of the program’s Facial Recognition capabilities. The technology is now available at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and CBP is using the opportunity to highlight some of the benefits that facial recognition offers to Global Entry members.
In that regard, CBP called particular attention to convenience. The Global Entry program is a voluntary program that gives trusted travelers access to an expedited screening process. To join, members need to submit personal and passport information to CBP, which will also collect biometric face and fingerprint data. That information is then processed in advance so members do not need to check in with a CBP agent as they pass through customs.
Of course, those travelers still need to prove their identity, which is where facial recognition comes in to play. In the past, members needed to swipe their passport and submit a fingerprint at a self-service kiosk to confirm their status as a Global Entry traveler. With facial recognition, they will no longer need to present their passport or their fingerprint. Members will instead be asked to pause for a photo at a kiosk, and that new photo will be compared to images that CBP already has on file. They will then be allowed to proceed if the photos match.
If there is not a match, Global Entry will revert to the old format, in which case the traveler will be asked to submit a passport and a fingerprint. The Global Entry facial recognition program does not collect any new information, and instead verifies information that the traveler has voluntarily submitted to CBP. The program is open to US citizens and permanent residents, in addition to citizens of 12 countries and NEXUS members in Canada.
CBP has been expanding its use of facial recognition for travelers who are not in the Global Entry program. The organization’s Simplified Arrival service has now been deployed at dozens of air and land borders throughout the United States.
August 31, 2021 – by Eric Weiss