ICE deploys mobile face biometrics to remotely monitor registered migrants
Two recently deployed facial recognition systems are helping the U.S. government monitor migrants and other foreign nationals crossing the southern border.
Immigration officials are forgoing the use of ankle monitors, which use GPS sensors to locate carriers while awaiting immigration hearings. A relatively small program involving a selfie biometric app for phones replaces the strings.
Biometrics of the GEO group SmartLINK The app confirms that the registered migrant is where he told government officials he would be. The app also offers voice and video connections with immigration and customs officials and allows them to set calendar reminders for required appointments and view case documents, according to GEO group documents.
SmartLINK is part of the ICE Alternatives to detention program, which identifies and monitors migrants considered to be at low risk of flight and those with compelling humanitarian reasons to be released.
Border patrol officials emphasize the human aspects of dropping the bracelets – primarily the physical discomfort they can cause and the inconvenience of having to recharge them throughout the day.
However, it was reported by advocacy groups that users of the SmartLINK program must provide the contact details of five family and friends, which brings them into a system many would prefer to avoid.
And it is not clear what data privacy policies, if any, are in place at GEO Group or whether the contractor is bound by government policies regarding informed consent, collection, management, security and deletion. .
It is safe to assume that migrants using SmartLINK will have their data shared between internal security agencies and perhaps between national and local law enforcement authorities for some time. Their faces will also likely be included in federal biometric databases.
Another facial recognition program, Simplified Arrival, has been rolled out for people approaching border crossings in Arizona and Texas. It is billed as an automation of the conventional manual document checks that transit offices perform when a non-U.S. Citizen requests entry.
People will have a photo taken at a railway crossing and officers will review their travel documents, which will trigger a comparison of the new photo with the existing passport or visa images on file.
Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) complaints the biometric process takes “seconds” and is over 98% accurate. New photos are supposed to be deleted within 12 hours of being taken.
Subjects of the article
biometric identification | biometrics | border management | CBP | facial recognition | ICE | identity verification | mobile application | Simplified arrivals | United States