The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be testing three different biometric systems to track exits from the country. Biometric entry and exit was mandated in legislation after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Biometric entry – US-VISIT – was deployed in 2004 but finding a solution for tracking exit has been more difficult.
Numerous pilots over the past 10 years have been unsuccessful. There was an effort to have airlines capture the biometrics for those leaving from airports but that was met with heavy opposition from the airlines.
Adding biometric exit at airports has been difficult because U.S. airports aren’t built to track people ad record them until they get in the plane. Land borders also prove difficult because the facilities don’t exit to stop people exiting the country and collect biometrics. Estimated costs for biometrics range from $25 to $100 million.
The new pilots will test biometrics at airports and land border crossings. A pilot is underway at Dulles National Airport in Virginia that matches the face stored on an electronic passport to the person standing in front of the kiosk, said Mike Hardin, Deputy Director of the Entry/Exit Transformation Office at U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Connect ID conference.
Another pilot slated to start this summer at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta will use fingerprint to record an exit from the country. Exact details of the workflow on this project were unknown.
The last pilot will use face and iris recognition at a southern land border to track pedestrians exiting the country. Exact biometrics of the participants wasn’t available.