The US Customers and Border Protection (CBP) agency has expanded its biometric screening program to the sea, with a newly concluded trial demonstrating the use of facial recognition to identify passengers on cruise ships.
The trial was conducted with Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) using biometric technology provided by IDEMIA. The trial focused on re-entry of US citizens at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey, where disembarking individuals had their faces scanned by IDEMIA’s hardware. Their faces were immediately matched to biometric information collected when they boarded the ship, confirming their identities.
In a statement announcing the trial’s conclusion, IDEMIA asserted that it demonstrated “high quality/high speed facial matching with large passenger populations” and “expedited Customs egress”, adding that surveys of trial participants “showed high degrees of satisfaction regarding speed of clearing customs and intuitive engagement with the facial camera.”
It’s another sign of the expansion of biometric border screening in the US, with the Department of Homeland Security and its CBP agency having shown an intense interest in such technologies over the past several months. The trial also may point to growing involvement in these efforts on IDEMIA’s part after MorphoTrak, a subsidiary of one of the firms that merged to create IDEMIA, provided biometric identification kits to the CBP in the spring of last year.
November 14, 2017 – by Alex Perala