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US Customs introduces facial comparison technology in Bahamas


US Customs introduces facial comparison technology in Bahamas

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Nassau – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency announced on Wednesday the introduction of new facial biometric comparison technology, known as “Simplified Arrival”, at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau, Bahamas.

CBP said “Simplified Arrival” is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States.”

It said this process provides travellers with “a touchless experience that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-US citizens”.

“CBP is excited to build on our partnership with the Government of the Bahamas while advancing the future of secure, touchless travel,” said Clint Lamm, Director of Field Operations, CBP Preclearance.

“Given today’s health concerns, biometric facial comparison technology can play a key role in helping the travel industry address COVID-19 health and safety risks by implementing seamless processes.

“Combining ‘Simplified Arrival’ with our Preclearance procedures will not only help us process passengers more efficiently, but it will allow us to better protect traveller and officer safety,” he added.

CBP said “Simplified Arrival” only uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travellers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document.

“When travellers arrive at LPIA on an international flight, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point,” said CBP, adding that biometric facial comparison process will compare the new photo of the traveller to a small gallery of high-quality images that the traveller has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos.

In addition, CBP said foreign travellers who have travelled to the US previously will no longer need to provide fingerprints, as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial comparison process.

CBP said “Simplified Arrival” pairs one of the industry’s highest ranked facial comparison algorithms, as assessed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, with trained CBP officers who are “skilled at verifying the authenticity of travel documents”.

To date, CBP said more than 56 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land and sea ports of entry.

Since September 2018, CBP said it has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 300 imposters from illegally entering the United States by using genuine travel documents that were issued to other people. (CMC)