CBP tests handheld biometric devices to collect exit data

CBP tests handheld biometric devices to collect exit data

The Customs and Border Protection agency has begun testing a handheld biometric device on foreign national travelers departing from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

CBP officers will collect fingerprints and passport information and compare it to the same data that was collected when the traveler arrived in the United States. The information will be stored in secure data systems managed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The pilot project, which will run through June 2016, will test the practicality of using a handheld device to collect biometric data from foreign air travelers entering the United States and conduct law enforcement checks on travelers leaving the country.

Testing will expand this fall to include airports in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, N.J., New York, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles.

“CBP is relentless in its pursuit of new and innovative technology that will assist officers in their efforts to provide national security and efficiently facilitate trade and travel through our nation’s ports of entry,” said Todd Owen of the CPB’s Office of Field Operations. “Thorough testing will ensure that we deploy the right technology in a way that enhances security, protects privacy and improves the process.”

Once the testing concludes next summer, CBP will analyze the results to determine future plans for biometric exit programs.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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