Facial Recognition Expertise: CBP Traveler Identification Verification and Efforts to Tackle Privateness Points

Facial Recognition Expertise: CBP Traveler Identification Verification and Efforts to Tackle Privateness Points

Quick Info

U.S. Customs and Border Safety makes use of facial recognition expertise for id checks at some border places. As of July 2022, CBP had deployed this expertise to 32 airports for vacationers leaving the U.S. and all airports for vacationers coming into the nation.

We testified that CBP’s privateness indicators—which inform the general public about its use of this expertise—weren’t at all times present or accessible the place this expertise was getting used.

Our earlier suggestions included that CBP guarantee its privateness notices are full and accessible at places utilizing this expertise.

Instance of cameras and show screens used for facial recognition on the Port Canaveral Seaport

Facial Recognition Expertise: CBP Traveler Identification Verification and Efforts to Tackle Privateness Points

Highlights

What GAO Discovered

U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) has made progress testing and deploying facial recognition expertise (FRT) at air, sea, and land ports of entry to create entry-exit information for overseas nationals as a part of its Biometric Entry-Exit Program. As of July 2022, CBP has deployed FRT at 32 airports to biometrically verify vacationers’ identities as they depart the US (air exit) and in any respect airports for arriving worldwide vacationers.

Facial Recognition Expertise in Use at an Airport

Facial Recognition Technology in Use at an Airport

In September 2020, GAO reported that CBP had taken steps to included privateness rules in its program, similar to prohibiting airways from storing or utilizing vacationers’ images for their very own functions. Nevertheless, CBP had not persistently offered vacationers with details about FRT places. Additionally,, and CBP’s privateness signage offered restricted info on how vacationers might request to decide out of FRT screening and weren’t at all times posted. Since that point, CBP has ensured that privateness notices comprise full info and is taking steps to make sure signage is extra persistently accessible, however wants to finish its efforts to distribute up to date indicators to places the place FRT is used. Additional, CBP requires its industrial companions, similar to airways, to observe CBP’s privateness necessities and will audit companions to evaluate compliance. As of Might 2020, CBP had audited just one airline associate and didn’t have a plan to make sure all companions have been audited. In July 2022, CBP reported that it has performed five5 assessments of its air companions and has three further assessments underway. These are optimistic steps to assist be certain that air traveler info is safeguarded. Nevertheless, CBP also needs to audit different companions who’ve entry to personally identifiable info, together with these in different journey environments, distributors, and contractorscontractors and companions at land and sea ports of entry.

CBP assessed the accuracy and efficiency of air exit FRT capabilities by way of operational testing. Testing discovered that air exit exceeded its accuracy objectives however didn’t meet a efficiency purpose to seize 97 p.c of traveler images as a result of airways didn’t persistently {photograph} all vacationers. As of July 2022, CBP officers report that they’re planning to take away this requirementremoving the picture seize purpose as a result of airline participation in this system is voluntary and CBP doesn’t have employees to observe the picture seize course of at each gate.

Why GAO Did This Research

Throughout the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), CBP is charged with the twin mission of facilitating professional journey and securing U.S. borders. In response to fFederal legal guidelines requireing DHS to implement a biographic and biometric information system for overseas nationals coming into and exiting the U.S. In response, CBP has been pursuing FRT to confirm a traveler’s id instead of a visible inspection of journey identification paperwork.

This assertion addresses the extent to which CBP has (1) included privateness rules in and (2) assessed the accuracy and efficiency of its use of FRT. This assertion is predicated on a September 2020 report  (GAO-20-568), together with updates as of July 2022 on actions CBP has taken to handle prior GAO suggestions. For that report, GAO performed web site visits to look at CBP’s use of FRT; reviewed program paperwork; and interviewed DHS officers.

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