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Biometric entry for all travelers launched at LAX with CBP Simplified Arrival

Airport facial recognition implements rolling out around the world
Biometric entry for all travelers launched at LAX with CBP Simplified Arrival

Face biometrics will be used to identify all travelers on international flights departing from and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launches its Simplified Arrival program at the airport to modernize the international arrivals process.

The launch marks the one of the first completed transitions of a U.S. airport to biometric identity checks for entering and exiting America, according to CBP’s announcement.

The process for arriving passengers will remain essentially the same, but with an automated facial recognition check against passengers’ government-issued travel documents instead of a manual one. The change fulfills a longstanding congressional mandate, according to the announcement, along with streamlining the process and making it touchless.

The technology is being launched and demonstrated as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony including officials from CBP and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Simplified Arrival has also gone live at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with biometrics implemented at the location where travelers are already legally required to verify their identities by presenting a travel document.

Foreign travelers who have previously visited the U.S. will also no longer be required to provide fingerprints, as the facial comparison process meets the identity confirmation requirement.

“We are proud to bring Simplified Arrival to DFW,” said CBP Director of Field Operations Jud Murdock. “With this program, CBP has reduced the need to capture fingerprints and handle travel documents thus minimizing the direct contact between our officers and the traveling public.”

CBP notes that it uses one of the highest ranked face biometric algorithms in the industry, per NIST testing, with trained officers skilled at verifying the authenticity of travel documents.

Traditional inspection processes remain in place, as at all Simplified Arrival locations, in case the biometric identity verification is unsuccessful or an eligible traveler wishes to opt out. New photos of U.S. citizens will be deleted within 12 hours.

CBP has also launched biometric facial comparison at the pedestrian crossings in Detroit, Michigan and Champlain, New York to enhance their identity verification processes.

The process is completed within a few seconds and is more than 97 percent accurate, according to a separate CBP announcement. As with other CBP biometrics processes, U.S. citizens can opt out by notifying a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection area.

Face biometric checks have been completed by more than 53 million travelers at air, land and sea ports of entry to date.

Since September, 2018, CBP has prevented nearly 300 imposters from illegally entering the country with genuine travel documents issued to other people, through the use of biometrics.

SITA supplying technology to LAX and DFW

Bag-drop units provided by SITA at LAX can be controlled from travelers’ mobile devices, while in Dallas/Fort Worth the company’s self-service bag-drop technology is being used in a pilot integrating CBP’s Traveler Verification System, the first trial of its kind, according to a company blog post.

Dozens of airports and airlines have been able to safely resume flights due to solutions, often involving biometrics and mobile technology, delivered in partnership with SITA, the post says.

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is held up as an example of what airports can do to reassure passengers of the relative safety of flying, with manual check-in, self-service check-in, bag drop, restricted access, security, duty free and boarding all handled with touchless biometrics. The BCIA deployment of SITA Smart Path technology includes more than 600 biometric checkpoints, consisting of 250 lanes of automatic gates, 80 kiosks, and 30 self-service bag-drop stations.

More than 400 passengers can board an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes at BCIA, SITA head of Airports and Borders David Lavorel writes.

SITA Smart Path is also used at several other airports around the world, and Lavorel says that San Francisco International Airport is using SITA Flex to introduce more touchless services.

Lavorel touts SITA’s Health ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) as an example of a way the seamless traveler journey enabled by mobile technology and biometrics can be extended to earlier in the process. He also notes SITA’s collaboration with NEC to develop further solutions for secure walk-through airport experiences.

VSBLTY biometrics deployed to Guatemala airport through new Latin America partnership

VSBLTY has reached a partnership agreement with Latin American advertising network operator Branding Global to deploy a network of cameras at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City to search for persons of interest and gather real-time audience analytics.

Branding Global has exclusive media rights in the airport, and has added VSBTLY’s technology, including its Vector facial recognition and VisionCaptor and DataCaptor computer vision analysis software, to wall screens in the arrival, exit and shopping areas, according to the announcement.

“The demographic analytics are anonymous and accurately measure the effectiveness of the signage. An advertiser has a clear picture not only of the demographics of the audience that sees the messaging but the nature of their response to it. This adds extraordinary value to a brand,” states VSBLTY CEO Jay Hutton. “As we enlarge our footprint in Central and South America, it is a great opportunity for VSBLTY to partner with Guatemala’s premier provider of digital out-of-home advertising.”

Branding Global is now working with partners to expand deployments into malls, transit and government security systems.

Biometrics error forces reissue of over 200K Danish passports

Approximately 208,000 Danish passports issued from 2014 to 2017 have been found to have inaccurately-labeled biometric information embedded in the chips, with left and right fingerprints switched, the Copenhagen Post reports.

A distributor is blamed for the error, but the documents are still considered valid, and the Post suggests no problems have been reported by travelers due to the error, though state police warn it could cause problems when trying to enter some countries in the future.

The government is now planning to replace the passports for free over the next six months, and will contact those affected.

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