The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is proposing a new rule that would eliminate certain limitations on the collection of biometric data on non-citizens.

“To advance the legal framework for DHS to begin a comprehensive biometric entry-exit system, DHS is proposing to amend the regulations to remove the references to pilot programs and the port limitation to permit collection of biometrics from aliens departing from airports, land ports, seaports, or any other authorized point of departure,” DHS said in a Federal register posting. “In addition, to enable [CBP] to make the process for verifying the identity of aliens more efficient, accurate, and secure by using facial recognition technology, DHS is proposing to amend the regulations to provide that all aliens may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure.”

According to the Federal register notice, the collection of images from all non-citizens will rid the agency of needing different processes at the point of departure for non-citizen travelers who are and are not currently subject to biometric data collection. DHS also states that collection of biometric data from all non-citizens at entry is necessary “without regard to age or visa classification.”

“Implementing an integrated biometric entry-exit system that compares biometric data of aliens collected upon arrival with biometric data collected upon departure is essential for addressing the national security concerns arising from the threat of terrorism, the fraudulent use of legitimate travel documentation, aliens who overstay their authorized period of admission (overstays) or are present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled, and incorrect or incomplete biographic data for travelers,” DHS claims.

Interested parties are invited to participate in the rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments on the rule.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.