The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to utilize biometrics and facial recognition systems to identify all travelers, including U.S. citizens.
In a recent filing, the DHS said, "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required by statute to develop and implement a biometric entry-exit data system. To facilitate the implementation of a seamless biometric entry-exit system that uses facial recognition and to help prevent persons attempting to fraudulently use U.S. travel documents and identify criminals and known or suspected terrorists, DHS is proposing to amend the regulations to provide that all travelers, including U.S. citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure."
Michael Hardin, Director, Entry/Exit Policy and Planning at DHS's U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told CNN, "that the rule is in the "final stages of clearance." But because it hasn't yet been published it won't go into effect until after a period of public comment."
Already, there is some pushback from organizations that seek to protect privacy rights. According to CNN, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a statement earlier this week:
"Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel," ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley said in a statement. "The government's insistence on hurtling forward with a large-scale deployment of this powerful surveillance technology raises profound privacy concerns."