Washington Urges Partners to Embrace Biometric Border Screening at Davos

Washington urged its partners to adopt biometric technologies in border screening at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Washington Urges Partners to Embrace Biometric Border Screening at DavosAccording to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen discussed the need for partner states to share passenger information as part of an effort to fight terrorism. And connected to that effort is “the importance of biometric data in making cross-border travel faster and more secure.”

It’s an area in which the US has led by example with the CBP having launched a number of biometric screening programs at airports across the US over the past several months. Based on facial recognition, the systems are designed to ensure that travelers are who they say they are, and to compare their faces to those on domestic and international watch lists. But the US is not alone in calling for a step up in the use of biometrics to fight terrorism, with INTERPOL also calling on its partners to embrace biometric identification technologies and to share their information with each other.

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum also saw the launch of the Known Traveller program, which is aimed at leveraging biometrics and blockchain technologies to help improve the international travel process, both in terms of security and the traveler experience. Canada and the Netherlands announced they were embarking on a pilot program to explore this concept, further signalling the growing importance of biometric airport screening at the World Economic Forum.

January 30, 2018 – by Alex Perala