CBP details biometric entry/exit program plans

March 9, 2017 - 

The US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) is taking the next step of its development of a biometric entry/exit system program by reaching out to the industry with an RFI titled “CBP OIT Biometric Exit Acquisition“, as posted via the U.S. General Services Administration.

As discussed in the previous RFI, which was issued on June 20, 2016, the CBP performed four biometric field tests to assess the operational viability of different biometric modalities and traveler processing procedures.

These experiments included 1-to-1 face comparison where the agency collected and matched the facial images of incoming travelers against their passport photo to confirm their identity, a biometric exit mobile (BE-Mobile) test that measured the feasibility of collecting departure biometrics using handheld devices to quantify future exit law enforcement requirements, and a pedestrian entry/exit test where the agency examined the viability of facial and iris image capture in an outdoor land environment.

In addition, the CBP conducted a facial biometrics capture experiment at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson where it tested the facial image capture at the departure gate to match travelers’ face images against their passport photo.

Based on the results of these experiments, the CBP has completed the requirements for its final solutions with an initial focus on developing a facial recognition-based air travel screening solution.

“CBP is committed to delivering a solution at the top Gateway Airports beginning in 2018,” the RFT reads. ”We are looking at innovative procurement options including public/private partnerships, smaller procurements, and leveraging DHS enterprise capabilities. However, CBP does not envision one large systems integrator procurement to support air, land and sea environments.”

The solution will use a cloud-based system that can match traveler faces to biometric data included in flight manifests, with the system able to “interface with airlines and other third party providers.”

The CBP also plans to expand the use of this “back-end” system to eight new locations other than Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport in late spring or early summer, as well as collaborate with “air travel partners” to figure out how they can integrate these capabilities into their systems.

Previously reported, several major Canadian airports will be implementing facial recognition technology this spring as part of Canada Border Services Agency’s new traveller screening program.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.