CBP biometrics reach Guam and Saipan airports with Simplified Arrival launch
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expanding its biometric Simplified Arrival program beyond the continental United States to include the Guam and Saipan airports.
First reported by The Guam Daily Post, the move was announced in a joint inauguration event by the Guam International Airport Authority and the Commonwealth Ports Authority.
The Simplified Arrival program utilizes biometrics to compare travelers’ faces with photos from pre-registered documents.
This not only makes the process more secure for identification purposes but also more customer-centric, as it is typically quicker than traditional passport checks.
Should the facial recognition check fail, travelers will have the chance to go through traditional inspection processes.
In addition, foreign travelers opting in for the new service after already having traveled to the U.S. will not need to provide fingerprints for identification anymore.
From a privacy standpoint, CBP confirmed it has effectively limited the amount of personally identifiable information (PII) used in the face biometric process. Any new photos of U.S. citizens will be deleted within 12 hours, and those of most foreign nationals will be stored in a secure Department of Homeland Security system.
With the addition of Guam and Saipan airports, the Simplified Arrival program has now officially been deployed in a total of U.S. 172 airports for entry, and 32 for exit.
The biometric system was first deployed in September 2018 at Mineta San Jose International Airport and has so far reportedly caught over 700 individuals trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
The Simplified Arrival program has also been recently deployed in eight locations in Canada.