Facial Recognition Biometric Exit Technology Program Expands

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced expansion of the biometric exit technology pilot program to Washington Dulles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The program uses facial recognition technology to record non-citizens exiting the United States. It is one of the programs that CBP is pursuing to better track departures from the country.

Program Uses Facial Recognition Technology

The biometric exit technology program began at Atlanta-Hartfield International Airport in 2016. The pilot program uses facial recognition technology to expand on the use of airline manifests to track departures from the United States under the Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS). Using such manifests, the program compares a real-time photograph of an individual boarding an international flight with the photograph from the travel document that person provided to the airline. According to the CBP, the program allows the agency to ensure that the individual traveling is the true bearer of that travel document. Presumably, the system will also provide the government with more reliable information regarding non-citizens’ travel histories, which are used in the adjudication of various immigration benefits.

Expansion of Exit Tracking Programs

The CBP plans to expand the program to additional airports this summer. It is part of the wider effort to deploy a departure tracking system in the United States. The expedited rollout of such a program was included in President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised travel ban executive order.


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