DHS Expands Biometric Testing at Airports

DHS Expands Biometric Testing at AirportsThe US Customs and Border Protection agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is testing out biometric screening on travelers heading out of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Selected travelers will be asked to submit their fingerprint biometrics as they prepare to depart.

It’s essentially a pilot test of the biometric screening system, which will rely on smartphone-like fingerprint scanners. Border security agents will match the collected biometric data against that already being collected when visitors enter the country, to verify a given traveler’s identity. This autumn the test will expand to other airports in New York, Miami, Washington, San Francisco, Newark, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago; and at least in the case of the Atlanta deployment, the test is scheduled to conclude next June, when authorities will try to assess whether it can be expanded further without significantly disrupting travel.

The pilot project fits into the broader trend of biometric screening for border control; last month the CBP implemented a system relying on facial recognition at the Washington Dulles International Airport. Meanwhile, the European Commission is also testing out biometric screening systems at its borders. The technology seems to be catching on with governments around the world, but it’s worth noting that back in the US, the TSA has already demonstrated its feasibility – and indeed its efficiency – with its TSA PreCheck pre-screening program.

Source: Star Tribune

July 16, 2015 – by Alex Perala