U.S. Customs brings facial biometric comparison technology to the Port of Baltimore

Jaime E. Love

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BALTIMORE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun using facial biometric comparison technology to examine some of the people disembarking ships at the Port of Baltimore, according to authorities.

The federal agency worked with Carnival Cruise Line to expand its biometrics efforts, which can establish a traveler’s identity within two seconds, government officials said.

Passengers will pause for a picture when leaving cruise vessels at the port and then that picture will be compared to an existing passport or visa photo in secure Department of Homeland Security systems, according to authorities.

The person’s identity will be verified biometrically with more than 98% accuracy, government officials said.

U.S. travelers and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and would like to opt-out of the new biometric process can request a manual document check from a CBP Officer, according to authorities.

A manual check is consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States, federal officials said.

Facial biometric comparison technology is available at multiple seaports across the United States. 

This technology has been used to process people arriving on cruise vessels in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, and Puerto Rico. Maryland is the latest addition to the list, according to authorities.

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