Facial Scanning Tech Spots Woman Using Sister's Passport, COVID Vaccine Card to Cross U.S.-Canada Border

Facial scanning technology recently spotted a woman who was using her sister's passport and COVID-19 vaccination card to enter the U.S. from Canada.

According to a press release from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the incident occurred on November 26 when border agents encountered the woman at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry in Washington.

CBP said that an officer used the Simplified Arrival facial scanning technology while processing passengers on a bus and detected a "facial mismatch," when scanning the woman.

"Upon further investigation, the woman admitted to using her sister's U.S. passport and COVID-19 vaccination card because she had not been vaccinated," CBP said in the press release. It is unclear if the woman was detained or denied entry into the U.S.

According to CBP, Simplified Arrival is an arrival process that uses biometric facial scanning technology to "automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States."

Simplified Arrival is only used where travelers entering the U.S. are already required to provide officials with a travel document to confirm their identity. CBP said that when a traveler arrives at a port of entry into the U.S. they will be prompted to take a photo. A CBP officer will then inspect the traveler's travel documents comparing the new photo to one already on their passport or travel visa.

According to CBP, the Simplified Arrival scanning technology is more than 98 percent accurate and allows for travelers who have already been in the U.S. to avoid fingerprint scanning, "as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial biometric process."

"The addition of facial biometric technology and the vigilance of our CBP officers prevented the entry of someone suspected of fraudulently using another individual's passport and COVID-19 vaccination card to cross international borders," CBP Seattle Field Office Director of Field Operations Brian J. Humphrey said.

Humphrey continued, "This advanced biometric technology, combined with skilled CBP officers, provides travelers with a secure, efficient, and touchless arrival process that strengthens border security."

According to CBP, facial comparison technology is currently being used across 198 airports.

This is not the first time CBP officers have encountered a traveler that was deemed an "imposter" for using travel documents issued to other individuals. CBP said in the press release that to date, the facial biometric scanning technology has been used by 113 million travelers at sea, air and land entry ports.

"Since September 2018, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 1,100 impostors from illegally entering the United States by using genuine travel documents that were issued to other people," CBP said.

Newsweek reached out to CBP for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Customs and Border Protection
A woman crossing the U.S.-Canada border was recently spotted by facial scanning tech as she was using her sister's passport and COVID-19 vaccine card. Above, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents direct vehicles re-entering the U.S. from Canada, which has opened its borders to U.S. citizens who can provide proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test, for random searches and inspections at the Ambassador Bridge Port of Entry August 9, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Matthew Hatcher/Getty