US Political Support Grows for Biometric Exit Screening

US Political Support Grows for Biometric Exit ScreeningThe US Customs and Border Protection agency’s expanding biometric border screening project is helping to pave the way for what could be America’s first means of reliably tracking departures from the country.

First undertaken as a pilot project at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport last year, the program, which matches passengers’ faces against the biometric data on their ePassports, is now being expanded to JFK International Airport in New York. It was designed as a means of improving border security, and could prove even more valuable in that respect if expanded further. That’s because if it were brought to many more airports and applied to departures, it could accurately track non-US visitors’ departures from the country, giving officials valuable data on which visitors are overstaying their travel visas.

The great concern isn’t fraud, but that those who overstay their visas could be potential terrorists in waiting. With that in mind, US Congress’ approval of an extra billion dollars in funding for the development of a biometric exit program—as per recommendations from the 9/11 commission mandated with exploring security options against terror attacks—could signal a growing willingness on American politicians’ part to support the expansion of this kind of biometric screening.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

January 25, 2016 – by Alex Perala