CBP tests facial recognition for exits at Atlanta International

Trial is on one daily flight to Japan

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun a test to see how its IT systems will work with facial comparison at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The test will only affect passengers over the age of 14 and under 79 on one daily flight from the United States to Japan until September 30.

As part of the testing, passengers will present their boarding pass while their digital photo is taken. The test will evaluate CBP’s ability to successfully compare the image of a passenger  taken during departure against an image the passenger previously provided, in an automated fashion and without impacting airport operations.

The digital images of passengers will be compared and held in secure CBP data systems for post-departure analysis. Passengers who travel with a U.S. passport will not have their data retained for the purposes of this test once it is confirmed they are the true document holder. The test data will be deleted after the evaluation of the test.

John Wagner, deputy executive assistant commissioner, Office of Field Operations:

“As CBP works towards deploying a comprehensive biometric exit system, it is important that we continue to test available technology and our systems capabilities. Our goal remains to implement a biometric exit system that conforms with existing standard operating procedures so that the incorporation of biometrics has minimal impact to airlines, airports, and the traveling public.”

A biometric exit system has been a greater challenge to implement as U.S. international airports do not have similar entry processing infrastructure for exit processing. DHS is committed to implementing biometric exit in 2018, starting at the highest volume airports.

N.B. Image credit: CBP

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