Dulles Airport to Test Facial Recognition Security Technology

Dulles Airport officials are testing out facial recognition technology that will help to improve security.

DULLES, Va. – The Customs and Border Protection Agency have been testing a new security systems using facial recognition technology at Washington Dulles International Airport to inspect individuals flying into the United States from a foreign country.

Security officials will take a photograph of the face of randomly chosen passengers, and then run it through an algorithm that can match the image to pictures of anyone on a watch list. Additionally, the sophisticated algorithm can check if individuals are using their real names on their passports, DCInno reports.

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After receiving the algorithm’s “match confidence score” on whether an individual is truly who his/her passport says, security officials will decide whether to start a deeper investigation.

The new program, called the “1:1 Facial Recognition Air Entry Pilot,” falls under CPB’s Targeted Biometric Operations to Motherboard. It will last for a little more than a year and a half, with 60 or 90 days of picture collection. The rest of the time will be reserved for analysis and evaluation.

The project fits into the Department of Homeland Security’s Apex Air Entry and Exit Re-Engineering project.

Some critics believe the new program will spark protests from civil liberty group over privacy issues. A big concern is whether the database of non-criminals with pictures taken in the program could be vulnerable to exploitation.

However, officials maintain that the pictures of anyone not under criminal investigation will be deleted at the end of the program.

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