(CBP photo)

Dulles CBP’s New Biometric Verification Technology Catches Third Impostor in 40 Days

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s new cutting-edge facial recognition technology identified a third impostor in 40 days Monday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The woman, who arrived aboard a flight from Accra, Ghana, presented a U.S. passport to a CBP officer as a returning U.S. citizen. The facial recognition technology reported a mismatch between the photo embedded in the passport chip and the woman who presented the travel document. CBP officers verified the woman’s true identity as a 26-year-old Cameroon citizen during a secondary inspection and biometric examination.

Posing as someone else when attempting to enter the United States is a serious violation of U.S. immigration law that could result in criminal prosecution.

An investigation continues.

CBP’s facial recognition system is highly effective and efficient at detecting impostors. It compares the face of the traveler presenting the travel document to the face captured in the passport’s electronic chip. The facial recognition verification process takes less than 2 seconds. It is designed to quickly confirm a document bearer’s identity and significantly reduce passenger processing times.

“This latest interception is yet another example of the effectiveness of the facial comparison system we are using to help us detect criminals, terrorists or imposters attempting to enter our country,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of the Baltimore Field Office. “It has proven highly accurate and is one more tool in our officer’s toolbox that helps them accomplish CBP’s mission of keeping America safe from people that would do us harm while also helping to facilitate the efficient flow of legitimate travelers.”

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.

This is the third impostor that CBP detected at Washington Dulles International Airport through this new facial comparison technology.

On September 8, CBP officers intercepted a Ghanaian woman presenting a U.S. passport for admission to the United States.

On August 22, CBP officers intercepted a Congolese man presenting a French passport for admission to the United States.

CBP has been testing facial recognition technology to satisfy its biometric exit Congressional mandate. CBP employed biometric exit at 15 major airports across the United States, and implemented biometric entry at 14 airports in the United States and at preclearance airports overseas. View the list of participating Biometric Exit and Entry airports.

CBP uses airline manifest data to retrieve existing traveler photographs from government databases, including passports and visas, to build a photo gallery of travelers who are expected to arrive and depart the United States. CBP then compares the “live” photographs of travelers taken with those that are already on file in DHS holdings. No new data is required.

Read more at CBP

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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