Starting earlier this month, United States Customs and Border Protection began a new initiative at the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC which required random Americans entering the country to get their picture taken as part of a new program that’s supposed to weed out impostors that are using valid travel documents. Essentially, they’re testing out facial recognition systems at airports.
If you’re a frequent international traveler, and you find yourself flying into Washington, D.C.’s Dulles airport a lot, then your headshot might start showing up in a government database. You haven’t done anything wrong—at least, we hope not—but odds are good that you might be randomly selected for a quick picture. According to Motherboard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection rolled out a new initiative starting March 11, whereby random Americans entering the U.S. might get their headshots taken as part of a new program designed to ferret out potential imposters. “The operational goals of this pilot are to determine the viability of facial recognition as a technology to assist CBPOs in identifying possible imposters using U.S. e-passports to enter the United States and determine if facial recognition technology can be incorporated into current CBP entry processing with acceptable impacts to processing time and the traveling public while effectively providing CBPOs with a tool to counter imposters using valid U.S. travel documents,” reads U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s official “Privacy Impact Assessment” document.