US facial recognition will cover 97 percent of departing airline passengers within four years

The Department of Homeland Security says it expects to use facial recognition technology on 97 percent of passengers departing in the next four years. The system, which consists of photographing passengers before boarding their flight, began to be implemented in 2017, and began operating in 15 airports in the US. UU As of the end of 2018.

The facial recognition system works by photographing passengers at the exit door. He then cross-references this photograph with a library populated with face images of visa and passport applications, as well as those taken by border agents when foreigners enter the country.

The objective of the system is to offer "Biometric Exit", which gives the authorities a good idea of ​​who is leaving the country and who is entering, and allows To identify people who have exceeded their visas. Quartz notes that the US authorities UU They have traditionally been based on airline flight manifests to track who is leaving the country.

Since the introduction of the current system, facial recognition identified 7,000 passengers who stayed beyond their visas on the 15,000 flights followed. . US Clients UU And Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English) estimated that more than 600,000 people stay more than their visas every year, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of a 10-year ban to enter the US. UU

Critics argue that the creation of a database of millions The photograph of people is a threat to civil liberties. Once you have the database, it would be easy to share it with other agencies, effectively converting it into a search tool for all law enforcement agents.

The current iteration of the system entered testing for the first time in 2017 on a single flight between Atlanta and Tokyo. Originally, its broader implementation was planned in early 2018, but its implementation was accelerated by the Trump administration and expanded to more airports in the summer of 2017.

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