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Facial recognition now used for border screenings at MSP Airport

Passengers have the option to use the technology when arriving at MSP.

Passengers arriving at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from other countries can now choose to go through border control using facial recognition scanners.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Wednesday that "Simplified Arrival" is now available at both MSP Airport terminals for international arrivals.

Using "facial biometrics," the technology takes a picture of a passenger at the border check, and compares it to images the traveler has provided to the government already, such as a passport or visa photo.

Foreign travelers who have previously traveled to the U.S. will also be remembered by the system, and will no longer have to provide fingerprints to enter the country.

This will mean a "touchless" process, allowing border agents to confirm entries without having to collect prints. New photos of U.S. citizens will be deleted within 12 hours, while pictures of foreign travelers will be stored for future use.

Those who wish to avoid facial recognition can still do a manual document check by notifying a border officer as they approach the inspection point.

These travelers will have to present a valid travel document, such as a passport.

MSP becomes the 31st airport in the U.S. to use Simplified Arrival. The airport is also in the process of removing its Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in the international arrivals area.

"CBP is expanding the use of facial biometrics at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport to provide travelers a safe, touchless international arrival process that further secures and modernizes air travel,” said Diane J. Sabatino, CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations.

“Collaborating with partners like the Metropolitan Airports Commission has enabled CBP to deliver a secure, streamlined travel process that will enhance the customer experience and support the travel recovery efforts.”

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