LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A facial-recognition system to simplify the arrival of international travelers was unveiled Thursday at LAX.

The system, called Simplified Arrival, is now in place at Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX and was touted as a way to use facial biometrics to automate the document checks that are required for admission into the U.S. The process is touchless, and Customs and Border Protection says it will streamline international arrivals and fulfill a congressional mandate to record the biometrics of non-U.S. citizens.

“Simplified Arrival is a secure, efficient and intuitive process that delivers a seamless experience for travelers arriving into the United States,” Diane Sabatino, deputy executive assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, said in a statement. “CBP is using an accurate, reliable technology to verify identity while protecting the privacy of all travelers.”

(credit: Mani Albrecht/U.S. Customs And Border Protection)

The new technology uses the biometric facial comparison where travelers are already required to stop to verify their identity with travel documents. The photo taken at the primary inspection point will compare it to the images the traveler has already provided to the government for a passport and visa, and the traveler’s fingerprints will no longer be needed to confirm identity.

Nearly $2 million was budgeted to renovate Tom Bradley International Terminal’s federal inspection service area.

Travelers can opt out of passing through the biometric system by notifying a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point.

The CBP says more than 53 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land and sea ports of entry, and that the system has prevented nearly 300 imposters from illegally entering the U.S. since September 2018.


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