Facial recognition technology catches first impostor at D.C. airport

A man departing from Sao Paulo attempted to use a French passport that turned out not to be his.

A new facial recognition system installed at Washington Dulles International Airport last week has already caught one impostor, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials said last week.

The biometric comparison system caught a 26-year old man attempting to deplane from his flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil last Wednesday. Upon presenting a French passport to the CBP agent, the agent employed the new system to check whether the man’s face matched his passport photo — the system found that it did not, and a subsequent secondary search revealed a real Republic of Congo identification card hidden in his shoe.

Dulles is one of 14 airports that adopted the facial recognition system early, according to the CBP. Airports in Seattle , Los Angeles and Orlando have also gotten on board with the technology, which CBP officials are optimistic about.

“Terrorists and criminals continually look for creative methods to enter the U.S. including using stolen genuine documents. The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of the Baltimore Field Office.


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