CBP Drops Airport Face Scanning Proposal
December 5, 2019
Customs and Border Protection has removed its proposal to require U.S. citizens to undergo mandatory face recognition at airports, following widespread protest. Currently, only foreign nationals are required to undergo facial screening at airports. According to a CBP spokesperson, the agency has "no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States," and that it "intends to have the planned regulatory action…removed from the unified agenda next time its published." Senator Ed Markey previously blasted CBP's proposal. After CBP reversed its proposed plan, Senator Markey stated "we cannot take our right to privacy for granted. Americans still need protection from facial recognition technology…" and that the planned to introduce legislation to ban biometric surveillance. EPIC is pursuing a lawsuit to uncover documents about the opt-out procedures in CBP's Biometric Entry-Exit program. Congress has explained to Congress and the agency that its Biometric Entry-Exit program unfairly burdens travelers exercising their rights to opt-out of biometric identification. EPIC recently launched a global campaign calling for a moratorium on the use of face recognition for mass surveillance.