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Border Patrol new airport facial recognition technology helps bust ‘imposter’

August 29, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Border Patrol new airport facial recognition technology helps bust ‘imposter’

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Serious concerns has been expressed surrounding the privacy and rights implications of facial recognition technology and many have begun to ask what would happen when, either through bias or by a technological flaw, the algorithm fails.

At the same time, many have also voiced concerns about the implications of the technology if it proves to be effective.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection published a triumphant news release revealing that new biometric facial matching technology at Dulles International Airport captured its first “imposter.”

“On August 22, a 26-year-old man traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil presented a French passport to the CBP officer” at the Northern Virginia airport, the release stated. “The officer utilized CBP’s facial comparison technology which confirmed the man was not a match to the passport he presented.”

Identification was concealed in imposter’s shoe (Photo: CBP)

A subsequent search revealed the man’s Republic of Congo identification card was hidden in his shoe.

Using another person’s identification to gain entry into the United States is a violation of immigration law.

Dulles is one of the 14 airports in the United States that are trying out the facial recognition technology as a way to speed up inspection of arriving foreign travelers.

The pilot was launched on August 20th.

“Facial technology is an important step for CBP in protecting the United States from all threats,” Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of the Baltimore Field Office, revealed in a statement.

The tech “virtually eliminates” the chance for travelers to use another person’s identity.

It’s a critical early success account for a technology that, proponents argue, will make airports safer and more efficient. However, it is still not clear whether this story will satisfy the critics’ concerns.

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