Trump administration planning to expand facial recognition use at U.S. airports

The Trump administration is planning to expand the use of biometric facial recognition systems at airports around the United States, according to a report by International Business Times.

The Biometric Exit project, which is currently undergoing a trial on a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo, is designed to provide airports across the nation with facial recognition systems.

“We currently have everyone’s photo, so we don’t need to do any sort of enrollment,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Larry Panetta recently said at last week’s Border Security Expo. “We have access to the Department of State records so we have photos of US citizens, we have visa photos, we have photos of people when they cross into the US and their biometrics are captured into [Department of Homeland Security database] IDENT.”

The plan would require travelers to have their photo taken before boarding a plane, which would be compared with a database of images to confirm their identity and that the person is legally allowed to enter the country.

If it is successful, the Biometric Exit project will rapidly expand facial recognition systems in airports across the country this summer.

The Trump administration’s end goal is to scan travelers on all international flights arriving in the U.S.

The expansion was first outlined in the President’s executive order that, among other things, placed a ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Though CBP agents have been using photos from visa applications and fingerprints to verify the identity of travelers for international flights arriving at U.S. airports, the Biometric Exit program’s facial recognition technology would expedite the process by scanning travelers faster and more efficiently than border agents.

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