CBP testing Unisys biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa border crossing

March 11, 2016 - 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing Unisys‘ biometric identity solution in an outdoor, pedestrian environment at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego as part of its pilot project to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country.

The new tests represent the second phase of the project at Otay Mesa, which began in December 2015. At that time, kiosks were deployed to obtain facial photographs and iris images from selected non-U.S. citizens entering the country at the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing.

In this phase, selected non-U.S. citizens will submit their machine-readable or RFID-enabled travel documents as well as facial and iris biometrics as they are exiting the United States. The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies in an outdoor, pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May 2016.

“Unisys worked with CBP to develop a border security solution designed to identify visa overstays and persons of interest, as well as improve reporting and analysis of international visitors,” said Amy Rall, group vice president for the Department of Homeland Security practice at Unisys Federal. “This solution can help us better track who is entering the country, why they are here, and how long they stay.”

In addition to testing the effectiveness of biometrics at outdoor pedestrian border sites, CBP also will assess how accurately biometric technology performs when matching travelers’ biometrics against those in the records created when the travelers entered the United States.

CBP will evaluate the project to determine if some form of the technology can be effectively deployed at other land border sites as well as other environments.

CBP has previously stated that the images taken during the testing will be used solely for the purposes of this limited project.

In January, Unisys announced it had provided a facial recognition solution to allow CBP to capture live facial images of travelers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.