U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) this week announced the expansion of its Simplified Arrival program, which uses facial recognition to verify the identity of airline travelers arriving in the U.S. According to a press release, Simplified Arrival is now in use at San Francisco International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport following recent installations in Detroit and Houston.
As early as 2016, CBP began laying the groundwork for the program of which Simplified Arrival is a part: the $1 billion Biometric Entry-Exit Program. Through partnerships with airlines like Delta and JetBlue, CBP has access to manifests that it uses to build facial recognition databases incorporating photos from entry inspections, U.S. visas, and other U.S. Department of Homeland Security corpora. Camera kiosks at airports capture live photos and compare them with photos in the database, attempting to identify matches. When there’s no existing photo available for matching,