US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is continuing to expand its Simplified Arrival system. The agency has now deployed its facial recognition tech at the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam, which is located in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Guam International Airport Authority. The Simplified Arrival system, meanwhile, is a face-based screening system that enables contactless identity verification at ports of entry. Those that go through the process will be asked to pause at an inspection checkpoint when they arrive in Guam, and that new photo will be matched to a passport or visa photo already on file with the US government.
The biometric identity verification process is mandatory for foreign nationals visiting the US. Those whose identities cannot be confirmed biometrically will be referred to a CBP agent for a more traditional manual inspection. US citizens can also opt out of the facial recognition scan, in which case they will similarly be directed to a CBP agent. Both US and foreign travelers are expected to present a legitimate travel document at that time.
The photos of foreign nationals will be permanently stored in a Department of Homeland Security Database, while those of US citizens will be deleted after 12 hours. The Simplified Arrival system is now been installed for those entering the US at 172 international airports, a figure that includes several Preclearance locations outside the United States. Simplified Arrival is also being used to screen departing travelers at 32 airports.
CBP has been aggressively trying to expand the Simplified Arrival network for much of the past year. The system debuted at airports in Denver, Charlotte, Honolulu, and Tampa Bay in the past few months alone, and at land border crossings in Texas and New York.
June 29, 2021 – by Eric Weiss