July 15, 2015

Travel Alert: CBP Begins Testing an Enhanced Handheld Mobile Device to Collect Biometric Exit Data from Foreign Travelers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun testing an enhanced mobile device to collect biometric data from a limited number of foreign national air travelers departing the United States at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Officers will compare biometrics collected via the handheld device to the biometrics collected when the traveler entered the United States.

“CBP is relentless in its pursuit of new and innovative technology that will assist officers in their efforts to provide national security and efficiently facilitate trade and travel through our nation’s ports of entry,” said Office of Field Operations Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen.

“Thorough testing will ensure that we deploy the right technology in a way that enhances security, protects privacy and improves the process.” During testing, CBP officers will be stationed at the passenger loading bridge of selected flights departing the United States with a handheld biometric device.

CBP officers will scan selected foreign national air travelers’ fingerprints and passports using the device. The traveler’s data will be matched to the data collected when they entered the United States and then stored in secure data systems managed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Testing will expand to the following locations this fall: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles. The project will run through June 2016.

Full details of CBP announcement of test program.