CBP deploys biometric exit technology at Miami International Airport

Trial uses facial recognition and is for one daily flight

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is introducing biometric technology for departing passengers at Miami International Airport (MIA).

The deployment builds upon a June 2016 pilot at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport using facial biometrics. CBP recently deployed the technology to Washington Dulles International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Hobby International Airport in Houston, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Using the flight manifest, CBP builds a flight specific photo gallery using photographs from the travel document the passenger provided to the airline. CBP then compares the live photo against the document photo in the gallery to ensure the passenger is the true bearer of the document. If the photo captured at boarding is matched to a U.S. passport, the passenger—having been confirmed as a U.S. citizen—is automatically determined to be out of scope for biometric exit purposes and the photo is discarded after a short period of time.

Delta and JetBlue announced collaborations with CBP to integrate facial recognition technology as part of the boarding process. Delta is testing eGates at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and JetBlue is testing facial recognition technology at Boston Logan International Airport that allows passengers to self-board without scanning a boarding pass.

John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations:

“Through our consultations with the airlines and airport stakeholders, and based on the success of several pilots, CBP determined that facial recognition was a viable exit solution.

“With the expansion of this technology we will be looking at different flights, airports, lighting conditions, and internal IT configurations to demonstrate to our stakeholders that this solution is flexible, reliable and easy for travelers to use.”

There are several legislative mandates that direct the Department of Homeland Security to record the arrival and departure of non-U.S. citizens by collecting biometrics. CBP first established biometric screening procedures based on digital fingerprints for certain non-U.S. citizens in 2004 to secure our borders and ensure that the foreign travelers presenting themselves for admission to the United States are who they claim to be.

N.B. Image credit: wikipedia.org

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