On March 11, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) quietly rolled out a new facial recognition pilot program to help custom officers catch “imposters,” or people using a passport that isn’t theirs, an agency spokesperson confirmed to Motherboard on Wednesday.
The pilot is part of a larger effort to modernize US customs practices with the use of new technologies as part of the Apex Air Entry and E?xit Re-Engineering (AEER) Project. And it’s only the first of at least ?three experiments labeled “Targeted Biometric Operations,” according to a previously undisclosed CBP presentation obtained by Motherboard.
The goal of the pilot program, called “1:1 Facial Recognition Air Entry Pilot,” is to figure out if facial recognition can be a useful tool in catching these imposters, but civil liberties activists worry this is the first step to create a database of law-abiding Americans’ mugshots, which could create unforeseen privacy risks.
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