Biometrics to play central role in CBP strategy over next five years

Biometrics to play central role in CBP strategy over next five years

Biometric identification is one of the strategic objectives named in the first of three goals of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) strategy for 2021 to 2026.

The agency outlines its mission, team and future-based goals in a 32-page strategy document, with ‘biometric identification’ one of twelve strategic objectives identified, and playing a significant role in several others.

The key activities for CBP in the biometrics objective area are expanding its Biometric Entry/Exit system ‘in the air environment,’ and developing and deploying biometric solutions to increase matching accuracy at land crossings and sea ports. The desired outcomes are the confirmation of visa overstays, along with the instantaneous detection of fraud.

CBP’s approach to achieving those outcomes, according to the document, will also “dramatically reduce the need to verify physical travel documents.”

Other strategic objectives may or will involve biometrics include ‘awareness and enforcement,’ ‘secure and compliant trade,’ ‘targeting and vetting,’ ‘stakeholder experience,’ ‘data and analytics,’ ‘IT infrastructure’ and ‘intelligence.’

The agency says its vision statement about “enhancing the nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration and trust.”

“Great organizations have strong identities,” says CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan in a press release. “They have an unshakeable sense of purpose. And they adapt to change effectively and efficiently, recognizing that change is constant and inevitable. Our ability to deliver on our mission depends on our ability to navigate through change in the present, embracing it as we plan for the future while never losing sight of our purpose.”

The strategy update also demonstrates the agency’s commitment to providing a plan which is transparent and actionable, according to the announcement.

Meanwhile, the agency is also awaiting the approval of its proposed changes to the rules around its biometrics collection.

The proposed changes, which would include moving the Biometric Exit system out of the pilot phase and into production, as well as controversially the collection of biometric data from children, were published in November.

The comment period for the proposed changes ends Monday.

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