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Advanced biometric border systems could secure U.S.-Canada border, deployed in Dominica, Iran

Advanced biometric border systems could secure U.S.-Canada border, deployed in Dominica, Iran

Investments in smart biometric border systems are underway in Dominica and Iran and under consideration in Canada and the U.S. While a coalition of over 60 industry groups is pushing for biometric facial recognition and drones to secure the U.S.-Canada border, Dominica has announced a $13 million investment in upgrading border management systems with biometric passport processing, and Iran is implementing its first smart biometric system to track movement at the southern border.

Coalition pushes for biometric facial recognition, drones to secure U.S.-Canada border

Drones and cutting-edge biometric technology such as facial recognition are a top priority in securing the U.S. and Canada border when it reopens, Vice reports. A cross-border coalition of over 60 industry and transport groups titled Future Borders Coalition proposes the use of “next-generation biometrics, drone networks and smartphone apps” to monitor border traffic and improve security. Pearson airport just outside Toronto, Canadian National Railway and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among members.

Previously known as Beyond Preclearance, the Coalition’s goal is to turn travelers’ faces into passports or visas. The strategy describes how drivers crossing the U.S. and Canada border would not have to stop because biometric facial recognition cameras would be used to simplify processing. There would also be an option to opt-out, which would send travelers to low-priority lanes.

The Coalition also has a plan for international travel, whether by air, rail or ship. In this case, facial recognition would again be used for identity verification “with a facial recognition app that shares the person’s image with security agencies.” An AI-powered algorithm assesses if each traveler is a security risk or not. Facial recognition is currently used in the voluntary U.S.-Canada NEXUS pre-clearance program.

Dominica invests millions in border management systems with biometric passport processing

This fiscal year, the Commonwealth of Dominica is investing $13 million in upgrading its border management system to process biometric passports, among others, according to an announcement made by the Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore.

By processing biometric passports, the Minister hopes to establish a person of interest watchlist before these individuals enter the Caribbean country. Border services will collect incoming travelers’ fingerprints and inspect secondary information.

“The most important aspect in our border security improvement is our migration from the machine-readable passport to our e-passport or biometric passport, which is almost counterfeit-proof,” the minister said in a prepared statement. “In March of 2021, we will be moving to new biometric passports in Dominica and Dominica will be the only country, except for the Bahamas, to have those improved passports in the Caribbean, and that is development.”

The Dominica government will also purchase 231 properties to build the first international airport on the island with money it has saved from the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, respectively US$5 million per month. The CBI Programme allows approved individuals to purchase second citizenship provided they make a substantial investment in the country. Financial investments can go to the Economic Diversification Fund or invest in pre-approved real estate.

According to Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine experts, Dominica has the best CBI program in the world, according to the announcement.

Iran launches biometrics on Southern border

Iran has introduced the country’s smart biometric system to increase surveillance and movement tracking capabilities at the southern border in the province of Khurasan, announced the Coordinating Assistant to the Commander of the Iranian Border Guard, Brigadier General Hassan Asad al-Lahi, AMN reports.

Lahi emphasized the importance of the technology, as it will be implemented in Mahirud, a major economic area in South Khorasan Province. Border security officers will also use the system to closely observe which goods enter and leave the country at the southern border.

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