Changing the Status QuoThe Homeland Security department has been kicking its facial security surveillance program to high gear lately, as it believes that this will help it to combat the problem of expatriates who overstay their visa validity periods. According to the filing, the department is setting a deadline of 2021 to roll out facial recognition scanners across the 20 largest airports in the country. The move is a significant departure from the initial stance of the government. Airports in America have facial recognition systems in place, but U.S. citizens are not mandated to be screened by them. With these new rules, it wouldn’t matter what your immigration status is; you will need to get scanned before you enter or exit the country. However, the fact that the move has been proposed doesn’t mean that it would progress. The deadline of 2021 is particularly daunting, and implementation of this scale, as we have seen before, comes with challenges. In August 2018, the Inspector General of the department issued a report warning that the facial scanning system in place across airports has been rife with “technical and operational challenges,” including data inaccuracies, system shortages, and much more.
Security Issues AboundAccording to the report, Customs and Border Protection could only use the technology with 85 percent of passengers due to staff shortages, network incapabilities, and hastened boarding times due to flight delays. There were also issues with “consistently” matching people from specific age groups and countries.
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