Customs credits new facial comparison technology for Dulles arrest

Customs credits new facial comparison technology for Dulles arrest
© Getty

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on Wednesday say they successfully used facial comparison technology to stop a traveler posing as a French citizen at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP said in a press release that the technology alerted airport staff that the 26-year-old did not match the passport he presented while traveling to Sao Paulo, Brazil. After stopping the traveler to conduct further interviews, agents noted his behavior changed "and he became visibly nervous," CBP said.


A further search found that the man had an authentic ID card in his shoe showing he was actually from the Republic of Congo, not France.

"The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else," Casey Durst, CBP's Director of the Baltimore Field Office, said in a statement.

CBP did not disclose the man's name, citing an ongoing investigation, but the use of another person's identity documents is a criminal violation.

Wednesday's case was the first time security used the facial comparison technology to detect a traveler using a false identity.

Dulles is one of 14 airports to launch the use of facial recognition technology. CBP said it is considering the use of the technology as a broader part of the check-in, departure, security and boarding processes.