Airport posts early security success using facial recognition

Airport posts early security success using facial recognition
On its third day of operation, a new facial comparison biometric system being used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at Washington Dulles International Airport has caught an imposter posing as a French citizen.

On August 22, a 26-year-old man traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil presented a French passport to the CBP officer conducting primary inspections.  The officer used CBP’s new facial comparison biometric technology which confirmed the man was not a match to the passport he presented.  The CBP officer referred the traveler to secondary for a comprehensive examination.  A search revealed the man’s authentic Republic of Congo identification card concealed in his shoe.

"Facial recognition technology is an important step forward for CBP in protecting the United States from all types of threats," said Casey Durst, CBP's Director of the Baltimore Field Office.  "Terrorists and criminals continually look for creative methods to enter the U.S. including using stolen genuine documents.  The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else." The impostor intercepted at Washington Dulles International Airport was the first impostor detected using the new technology.

IAD is one of 14 early adopter airports to launch the use of facial recognition technology to expedite the entry inspection process of arriving international passengers and began the enhanced entry process on August 20.  Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority partnered with CBP at Washington-Dulles International Airport to deploy biometric entry and exit technology using facial comparison to provide additional security and to improve efficiency for international travelers.  The new, simplified arrival process enables increased security, faster throughput, and better efficiency.

CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travelers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding processes.  Testing was recently expanded to include one checkpoint at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at JFK Airport.