US Customs and Border Protection Looks to Facial Recognition and Cloud Computing

To further beef up security at the border, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to expand its capabilities for facial recognition as well as move its traveler processing functions into the cloud. Current traveler vetting data uses biographic data, and CBP says it is seeking to change the system into a biometric one. In the ideal setup, the system would automatically recognize travelers, and they wouldn’t need to present travel documents, potentially speeding up transit times.

The CBP noted that a biometric approach could be used further afield and would be able to inform officials of threats far before they entered US borders. The move towards biometric border control is expected to help CBP officers focus more on travelers. Integration of facial recognition systems is a critical component of the system in the future. Facial recognition software has become quite advanced in recent months, and other security agencies around the globe have embraced its usage.

Cloud Processing by 2024

The CBP also intends to move all of its processing onto the cloud by the year 2024. The initiative is in keeping with its mission to incorporate new technology into border control procedures. The ideal is to have systems that are as good or better than those that currently exist. Combining cloud processing with biometric information and facial recognition all contribute towards the authority’s modernization effort.

Among the improvements the CBP intends to implement are moving officers out of static booths so that they can freely interact with travelers and integrating a single touchpoint that could be used while the inspector is mobile. The authority has set no final date for the implementation of these improvements, but have stated that contracts are expected to begin as early as 2020 and run into late 2025 if the need arises. Biometric processing through the cloud might even result in fewer problems with international travelers as they pass through the US to their final destination.

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