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CBP integrates facial biometrics at Laredo Port of Entry pedestrian lanes

CBP integrates facial biometrics at Laredo Port of Entry pedestrian lanes

In November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is adding biometric facial comparison technology for entry and exit identification at three pedestrian lanes at Laredo Port of Entry, and will expand to the other lanes by the end of the year to improve security and travel experience.

Two will be installed at Gateway to the Americas Bridge and one at a bus passenger lane at Juárez-Lincoln Bridge, where travelers will have their picture taken at the first inspection point. After that, their paperwork will be reviewed by an officer who will compare the photo taken with the one in the travel document or government ID.

CBP claims the technology has a 97 percent accuracy and does not breach traveler privacy. The biometric procedure is not mandatory for U.S citizens, who can choose another procedure for identity verification. The personally identifiable information collected is minimal and the photos will be deleted in up to 12 hours. Only the photos of non-U.S. citizens will be kept in a DHS system.

By deploying facial biometrics at the border, the CBP aims to strengthen security and faster identity persons of interest, as well as keep better track of people crossing the border. Since 2018, biometric facial comparison has caught 200 people trying to cross the Southwest border with fake paperwork.

In May, an internal CBP document regarding the Biometric Entry/Exit program reported the iris and facial biometric technology failed to provide satisfactory matching results.

Last month, CBP began looking into deploying body-cameras with biometric facial recognition for an incident-driven video recording system (IDVRS).

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