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More biometric entry/exit pilots launched at LAX and Anzalduas Port of Entry



Travelers passing through four security lanes at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are being screened with biometric facial matching technology as part of a 30-day pilot by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Los Angeles Times reports.

Participation in the pilot is optional, but may become mandatory for foreign nationals if the program is successful at identifying travelers wanted for crimes or visa violations, and speeds up processing as intended.

LAX is the second-busiest airport in the U.S., and TSA has been trialing other advanced technologies there as well. An automated system for authenticating government-issued identity documents and confirming the individual identified by the document is on the manifest of an upcoming flight scheduled for departure is also being tested, according to the Times.

Facial verification technology from Vision-Box was deployed as part of a self-service boarding system trialed for British Airsways flights at LAX earlier this year.

Facial biometrics reach land border crossings

CPB has launched a pilot of facial recognition technology at the Anzalduas International Bridge Port of Entry, where images of travelers in vehicles will be collected and matched with images in government databases.

Two inbound and two outbound lanes are included in the trial, in which CBP will evaluate the quality of data captured by the system. The trial is expected to last a year, and biometric data collected as part of it will not be permanently stored or shared.

“This technical demonstration will help inform the agency on next steps to developing and implementing biometric entry/exit in the land border vehicular environment,” said David P. Higgerson, Director of Field Operations, Laredo Field Office. “Similar to how this technology has had negligible impact on traffic flow in the air environment, we anticipate minimal impact in the vehicular environment as images will be taken ‘at speed’ as the vehicle is moving.”

Federal officials are reportedly considering introducing rules to protect the biometric data of travelers held by the Biometric Entry/Exit program’s technology providers.

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