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Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

CBP to test facial recognition ID technology at Anzalduas Bridge in Texas

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will run a facial comparison technical demonstration for vehicle travelers this week at the Anzalduas International Bridge Port of Entry in McAllen, Texas.

The system will use a camera to take a picture of travelers entering and departing the United States to capture their facial biometrics. Those images will then be compared to photos on file in government holdings. It will be deployed on two inbound and two outbound lanes at the Anzalduas International Bridge, which connects Texas to Mexico.

“This technical demonstration will help inform the agency on next steps to developing and implementing biometric entry/exit in the land border vehicular environment,” David Higgerson, director of field operations at the Laredo Field Office, said. “Similar to how this technology has had negligible impact on traffic flow in the air environment, we anticipate minimal impact in the vehicular environment as images will be taken ‘at speed’ as the vehicle is moving.”

The facial recognition lanes will be clearly marked, so travelers can choose to use them or not. The demonstration will be in place for one year. Travelers are not required to do any other processing, so the impact on traffic should be minimal.

CBP will use this demonstration to assess the camera ability to capture a quality facial image for each occupant of the vehicle and to evaluate the biometric matching accuracy of images captured. The results will inform CBP on the future use of the technology.

The photos taken for this test will only be used for this project and will not be permanently retained or shared with any other party or system.

CBP believes a facial recognition system will enhance CBP’s ability to secure the border, identify aliens who have overstayed their period of admission, identify persons of interest, and improve reporting and analysis of travelers entering and departing the United States.