U.S. may implement mandatory facial scans across airports

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new regulation that would require all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to get their faces scanned as they enter and leave the country.


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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new regulation that would require all travelers — including U.S. citizens and green card holders — to undergo mandatory facial scans when entering and leaving the country.

Facial recognition technology typically matches an image of a person from a photo or video with a still image of them in a database. It has become increasingly used in airports throughout the world, according to CNN.

The proposed regulation would be part of a broader system to track travelers as they enter and exit the United States.

According to Reuters, the Trump Administration contends the face scan requirement will combat the fraudulent use of U.S. travel documents and aid the identification of criminals and suspected terrorists.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already conducted pilot programs that collect photographs and fingerprints from foreign travelers, but until now, U.S. citizens had been exempt, Reuters reports.

In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to accelerate a full roll out of airport biometrics for all domestic and international travelers.

According to a statement by a senior policy analyst from American Liberties Union Jay Stanley, travelers shouldn't have to submit to "invasive biometric scans" just because they want to travel.

The U.S. government has been using facial recognition technology for the past 20 years, though the government has only recently started pushing for use of this technology across U.S. airports, CNN reports.
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