Facial Recognition System at Philadelphia Airport Screens International Travelers to Stop Customs Violators

David Bjorkgren
Image via U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Touch-free facial recognition software is being using to screen international travelers at the Philadelphia International Airport, writes Hannah Kanik for Philly Voice.

The service Simplified Arrival uses facial biometrics to speed up passport and document checks.

The service is already in use at several airports nationwide.

“The timing of the Simplified Arrival program couldn’t be better in Philadelphia, with increased international travel ramping up for the summer season,” airport CEO Chellie Cameron said.

Travelers arriving from another country stop at a primary inspection point to have a photo taken. Simplified Arrival compares the photo to their passport or visa photo, looking for anomalies.

The system makes it easier for Custom and Border Protections agents to identify people with outstanding warrants, travelers with previous customs, immigration or agriculture law violations, travelers with ties to terrorism, or another reason to examine the traveler in more detail.

The technology is more than 98 percent accurate. It has prevented more than 500 people from illegally entering the country.

Privacy advocates fear it’s the next step toward a citizen tracking system.

Customs and Border Protection said there are privacy safeguards in place.

Read more at Philly Voice about facial recognition software at the airport.