Passengers arriving on international cruise ships at the US port of San Diego can now verify their identity on entry to the country using biometric face recognition technology rather than by presenting physical documents to immigration officers from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
San Diego is the latest port to add support for the contactless biometric entry system that has been rolled out in 16 US sea ports across Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico and Maryland.
On disembarking from a ship at San Diego and other ports that support the technology, “passengers will pause for a photo that will be compared to the traveller’s existing passport or visa photo in secure DHS systems to biometrically verify their identity,” CBP explains.
“Once verified, passengers are allowed to proceed through inspections and exit the terminal.
“This innovative entry process further secures and enhances the customer experience while protecting the privacy of all travellers.
“The improved arrival process using facial biometrics verifies the traveller’s identity within two seconds and is more than 98% accurate.
“US travellers and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can simply request a manual document check from a CBP officer consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.”
To date, more than 240 million passengers have entered the US using biometric facial recognition technology at air, land and sea ports across the country, according to the CBP.
CBP and Carnival Cruise Line launched the facial biometric solution in New Orleans in January.