CBP intercepts imposter using new biometric tech

Facial comparison biometric success
ID concealed in shoe. Image: US Customs and Border Protection

On only the third day using its new cutting-edge facial comparison biometric system, US Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations at Washington Dulles International Airport has intercepted an imposter posing as a French Citizen.

Perfect match

On August 22, a 26-year-old man traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented a French passport to a CBP officer at the primary line. Using CBP’s new facial comparison biometric technology, the officer confirmed the man was not a match to the passport he presented. The traveller was referred to secondary for a comprehensive examination.

In secondary, CBP officers observed that the traveller’s behaviour had changed, becoming visibly nervous.  A search revealed the man’s authentic Republic of Congo identification card concealed in his shoe.

The traveller was the first impostor detected using the new facial recognition technology. CBP is withholding his name until the investigation is completed.

“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 US 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.”

Early adopter

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. It began the enhanced entry process on August 20.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority partnered with CBP at Washington-Dulles International Airport to deploy the biometric entry and exit technology.

CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travellers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding processes. Testing was recently expanded to include one TSA checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Additional details about CBP’s biometric entry/exit program are available at www.CBP.gov

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