facial recognition at the airport

CBP, JetBlue test facial recognition for biometric exit

Customs and Border Protection is testing a new paperless and deviceless self-boarding process as part of its ongoing trials to implement a biometric exit solution.

Passengers flying with JetBlue who opt in to the program will have their pictures taken by a custom-designed camera station that connects to CBP to instantly match the new image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details. An integrated screen above the camera notifies passengers when they have been cleared.

SITA, a communications and border security solutions company, is providing the technology and connectivity to perform facial capture and integration with the CBP database as well as integration with JetBlue’s departure control system.

“CBP looks forward to engaging closely with air travel partners, like JetBlue, to better understand how CBP’s biometric exit program will support their efforts to streamline the travel process by using advanced biometric technology,” CBP’s Office of Field Operations, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, John Wagner said. “By transforming current business operations, airlines and airports will have the opportunity to use verified biometrics to ensure a seamless and consistent process for travelers.”

In other CBP announcements, the agency said its I-94 website now allows certain Visa Waiver Program travelers to check the status of their stay in the United States.  Form I-94 provides non-immigrant visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S., which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status and employment authorization.

After entering their name, birthdate, passport number and passport country of issuance, travelers will be able to see how much longer they can remain in the United States without overstaying the terms of their admission. Future updates to the I-94 website will provide the information for other categories of non-immigrant travelers, CBP officials said.

Travelers who have overstayed the terms of their admission will be notified via email and referred to the I-94 website, which provides information regarding next steps to take. In addition, the agency is working toward emailing reminders to travelers 10 days before their expected departure date.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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