US Homeland Security to use facial recognition in scanning travelers

/ 02:53 PM June 07, 2018 stock photo

The US Customs and Border Protection will deploy a new facial recognition system to scan drivers’ faces as they leave and enter US territory.

The system’s pilot run will be installed at the Anzalduas border crossing in the southern tip of Texas starting August. It will operate for one year, according to an exclusive report by The Verge.


This project was set up “to evaluate capturing facial biometrics of travelers entering and departing the United States and compare those images to photos on file in government holdings,” according to a statement by the US Customs.

Customs said the Anzalduas project is part of the larger Biometric Exit program, which aims to physically verify the identities of visa-holders leaving the country. Another pilot project connected to this program has been implemented at airports in New York, Los Angeles and six other major cities.

Prior tests of the system were conducted in 2016, unknown to the public. They merely collected images and video of 1,400 vehicles that crossed the borders of Nogales Arizona and Anzalduas, Texas, using conventional DSLR cameras. None of the data collected were shared with Customs nor were they used to identify individuals.

Authorities set the ultimate goal of the system so that it can recognize people even through car windshields, a feat made difficult due to the number of moving reflections, which often confuse facial-recognition systems.  Alfred Bayle /ra


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TAGS: biometrics, facial recognition, security cameras, United States
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