Nextgov reports that the Department of Homeland Security is on the hunt for new technology to identify people driving over the border—without even requiring them to leave their car.
The Homeland Security Department wants technology that can passively scan the faces of foreign nationals crossing the U.S. border by car, ensuring that the individuals who enter the country are the same ones who leave it.
DHS’ Silicon Valley outpost is hosting an industry day Nov. 14 to solicit solutions that would let Customs and Border Protection scan people’s faces, even if they’re wearing sunglasses, hats or are looking away from the camera, without requiring them to slow down or exit the car.
If you’re a bit worried about this technology, that’s a reasonable reaction. They did pay some lip service to privacy. In DHS’s official request for the technology they mention:
In addition, innovative approaches that allow for anonymization of U.S. citizen traveler data who are not “in-scope” for biometric exit and privacy controls that limit the collection of such information should be documented clearly. Finally, the system must account for diversity in passenger demographics and socioeconomics (e.g., access to and use of mobile electronic devices).
However, considering the corruption of the current administration (and overall history of the government abusing their power to undermine privacy), those qualifiers offer little personal comfort.