CBP testing handheld fingerprint readers on foreign travellers departing Atlanta airport

The Customs and Border Protection agency has launched a new pilot program in which it is testing a handheld biometric fingerprint device on foreign national travelers departing from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to a report by GCN.

Using the fingerprint reader, CBP officers will collect passengers’ fingerprints and passport information and compare it to the data that was previously obtained from them when they arrived in the United States.

The collected information will be stored in secure database managed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The pilot project will test the practicality of using a handheld device to collect biometric data from foreign air passengers entering the United States and conduct law enforcement checks on those travelers leaving the country.
The agency will expand the pilot project this fall to include airports in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, N.J., New York, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles.

“CBP is relentless in its pursuit of new and innovative technology that will assist officers in their efforts to provide national security and efficiently facilitate trade and travel through our nation’s ports of entry,” said Todd Owen of the CPB’s Office of Field Operations. “Thorough testing will ensure that we deploy the right technology in a way that enhances security, protects privacy and improves the process.”

Once the pilot project ends in June 2016, the agency will analyze the results to determine the best strategy in the future for biometric exit programs.

Previously reported, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Customs and Border Protection has initiated its “1:1 Facial Recognition Air Entry Pilot” program to allow CBP officers (CBPOs) at airports to use facial recognition technology to help verify the identities of US electronic passport holders.

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