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CBP to Begin Biometric Exit Testing at Otay Mesa Port of Entry

Release Date: 
February 11, 2016

Outbound testing to begin February 11; Builds on Inbound Phase of Project

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin testing new biometric technology today for travelers departing the U.S. at the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing. Travelers will provide biographic data via their travel documents at newly installed outbound kiosks, identical to inbound processing. Certain non-U.S. citizens will also provide facial and iris biometrics to compare to their entry record beginning February 22. The test will run until May 2016 and no biometric data will be requested from U.S. citizens either on entry or exit.

“CBP is committed to testing, deploying, and implementing biometric technologies in a way that accomplishes our security and facilitation missions,” said San Diego Field Operations Director Pete Flores. “This test will help inform technological next steps in developing and implementing a biometric entry/exit solution, not just on the land border, but in all environments. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we lead this important effort.”

This exit portion is the second phase of the project. In December, certain non-U.S. citizens entering the U.S. at the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing began using new kiosks equipped with this technology to provide a facial photograph and iris image.

The purpose of the test is to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies in an outdoor, pedestrian environment. In addition, it will help determine the accuracy of matching entry records created using those technologies upon exit and the feasibility of integrating biometric data collection with biographic data collection.  This information will be critical to CBP in helping to identify future system requirements for processing these new forms of data.  

Improved technology for comparing entries and exits along the land border will enhance CBP’s ability to secure the border, identify visa overstays, identify persons of interest, and improve reporting and analysis of international visitors to the U.S. This technology test is a direct result of recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, and is a critical step towards addressing Congressional mandates to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens, including reporting on those who have overstayed the period of their admission. 

The images taken during the testing will be used for purposes of this limited project only.  CBP remains committed to protecting the privacy of all travelers.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017