The SMi Group has announced that next month’s Border Security conference will feature two speakers from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Border Security conference is scheduled to run from February 10-11, and will be a virtual event due to the lingering health risks associated with COVID-19.
The DHS speakers, meanwhile, will specifically be discussing how technology can help fight international crime in the midst of the pandemic. According to the SMi Group, the speakers were invited after DHS tested a facial recognition system that was able to identify people wearing protective masks with 96 percent accuracy. That technology could improve health outcomes for travelers and border personnel alike, since people would no longer need to remove their masks to pass through security checkpoints at airports and land borders.
The two DHS speakers will be Patrick Nemeth and Jason Thompson. Nemeth is the Director of DHS’ Identity Operations Division, while Thompson is the Assistant Chief in charge of Biometrics and the e3 Portal with the US Border Patrol.
The talks themselves will focus on the challenges that DHS has faced as a result of COVID-19. Nemeth will discuss the steps the agency has taken (and plans to take) to keep pace with other countries and adjust to the new reality, with a particular focus on biometric identity operations. Thompson, on the other hand, will address some of the new strategies that criminals have adopted during the pandemic, and the DHS responses. He will also share tips to mitigate the chances of transmission while collecting and processing biometric information.
The DHS has faced intense scrutiny for a policy proposal that would give the agency unprecedented new abilities to collect the biometric information of immigrants and US citizens. Before the recent trial, the agency had expressed frustration with its inability to identify masked individuals with facial recognition technology during the pandemic.
The SMi Group’s Border Conference is free for military and government personnel, and £499 for members of commercial organizations.
January 15, 2021 – by Eric Weiss