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Customs Reverses Course on Mandatory Facial Scans for U.S. Citizens

A plan to introduce mandatory facial scans on US citizens upon entrance and exit of the country has been reversed by Customs and Border Protection after facing backlash. The agency is testing facial biometric programs at 20 different entry points, including airports, seaports, and land crossings. Airlines have teamed up with CBP to use their algorithm as part of the boarding process. Since the program began in 2018, US citizens have been exempt from participating through an option to opt-out of the facial scans, but the plan proposed by CBP would have terminated the ability to opt-out.

On Thursday, CBP stated that it had decided to rescind the proposed change to the facial biometric program, stating that they intend to have the planned regulatory action removed from the agenda next time it is published. CBP faced backlash among US citizens, who claim that they should not be subject to facial scans simply for exercising their right to travel.

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