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  • News: CBP Notice: Biometrics Test at Otay Mesa POE

    Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 219 (Friday, November 13, 2015)
    [Federal Register Volume 80, Number 219 (Friday, November 13, 2015)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 70241-70243]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2015-28843]
    
    
    
    [[Page 70241]]
    
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    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    
    
    Test To Collect Biometric Information at the Otay Mesa Port-of-
    Entry
    
    AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Department of Homeland 
    Security.
    
    ACTION: General notice.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: This notice announces that U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
    (CBP) intends to conduct a test to collect biometric information at the 
    Otay Mesa, California land border port-of-entry from certain aliens 
    entering and departing the United States. During this test, CBP will 
    also collect biographic data from all travelers departing the United 
    States at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry. This notice describes the scope 
    of the test, its purpose, how it will be implemented, the persons 
    covered, the duration of the test, and privacy considerations.
    
    DATES: This test will begin no earlier than December 7, 2015 and will 
    end on or before June 30, 2016.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Fluhr, Assistant Director, 
    Entry/Exit Transformation Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 
    by phone at (202) 344-2377 or via email at edward.fluhr@cbp.dhs.gov.
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    
    Background
    
        The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the United 
    States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) 
    Program in accordance with several federal statutory mandates requiring 
    DHS to create an integrated, automated biometric entry and exit system 
    that records the arrival and departure of aliens; compares the 
    biometric data of aliens to verify their identity; and authenticates 
    travel documents presented by such aliens through the comparison of 
    biometric identifiers. Under US-VISIT, certain aliens, as described 
    below, may be required to provide certain biometric information 
    (digital fingerprint scans, photographs, facial and iris images, or 
    other biometric identifiers\1\) when attempting to enter or depart the 
    United States.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        \1\ As used in this notice, a ``biometric identifier'' is a 
    physical characteristic or other physical attribute unique to a 
    person that can be collected, stored, and used to verify the 
    identity of a person who presents himself or herself to a CBP 
    officer at the border. To verify a person's identity, a similar 
    physical characteristic or attribute is collected and compared 
    against the previously collected identifier.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        The federal statutes requiring DHS to create a biometric entry and 
    exit system to record the arrival and departure of aliens include, but 
    are not limited to:
         Section 2(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
    Data Management Improvement Act of 2000 (DMIA), Public Law 106-215, 114 
    Stat. 337 (2000);
         Section 205 of the Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act of 
    2000, Public Law 106-396, 114 Stat. 1637, 1641 (2000);
         Section 414 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by 
    Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct 
    Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act), Public Law 107-56, 115 Stat. 
    272, 353 (2001);
         Section 302 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry 
    Reform Act of 2002 (Border Security Act), Public Law 107-173, 116 Stat. 
    543, 552 (2002);
         Section 7208 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
    Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), Public Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, 
    3817 (2004); and
         Section 711 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/
    11 Commission Act of 2007, Public Law 110-52, 121 Stat. 266 (2007).
        Section 7208 of IRTPA, as codified in 8 U.S.C. 1365b, requires 
    specifically that DHS' entry and exit data system collects biometric 
    exit data for all categories of individuals who are required to provide 
    biometric entry data.
        On January 5, 2004, DHS published an interim final rule in the 
    Federal Register (69 FR 468) implementing the first phase of US-VISIT 
    at certain U.S. air and sea ports-of-entry. The interim final rule 
    amended 8 CFR 235.1 to authorize DHS to require certain aliens who 
    arrive at designated U.S. air and sea ports-of-entry to provide 
    biometric data to CBP during the inspection process. The air and sea 
    ports-of-entry where such collection of biometric information occurs 
    were designated by notice in the Federal Register. See 69 FR 482 
    (January 5, 2004). Since that time, aliens who are required by law to 
    submit biometric information have been submitting fingerprints and 
    photographs upon entry to the United States at designated air and sea 
    ports-of-entry. This DHS biometric entry program is currently 
    operational at 115 airports and 15 seaports across the United States.
        The second phase of US-VISIT was implemented on August 31, 2004 
    when DHS published an interim final rule in the Federal Register (69 FR 
    53318) expanding the program to the 50 most highly trafficked land 
    border ports-of-entry in the United States as required in 8 U.S.C. 
    1365a(d)(2).\2\ This interim final rule amended 8 CFR 215.8, which 
    provides that the Secretary, or his designee, may establish pilot 
    programs to collect biometric information from certain aliens departing 
    the United States at land border ports-of-entry, and up to fifteen air 
    or sea ports of entry, designated through notice in the Federal 
    Register. See 8 CFR 215.8(a)(1). The interim final rule also authorized 
    DHS to identify the specific land border ports-of-entry in a separate 
    notice published in the Federal Register.\3\
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        \2\ Section 1365a(d)(2) provides in pertinent part: ``Not later 
    than December 31, 2004, the Attorney General [now Secretary of 
    Homeland Security] shall implement the integrated entry and exit 
    data system . . . at the 50 land border ports of entry determined by 
    the Attorney General to serve the highest numbers of arriving and 
    departing aliens.''
        \3\ On December 19, 2008, DHS published a final rule in the 
    Federal Register (73 FR 77473) finalizing this interim final rule 
    without change.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        On November 9, 2004, DHS published a notice in the Federal Register 
    (69 FR 64964) identifying the fifty most trafficked land border ports-
    of-entry where biometric data would be collected from certain aliens 
    upon arrival. Today, DHS collects fingerprint biometric data to verify 
    the identity of certain aliens seeking admission at all land border 
    ports-of-entry. This notice also specified that DHS would announce, 
    through a future Federal Register notice, the piloting of a future 
    biometric collection program at a limited number of sites as part of 
    DHS' efforts to process aliens upon departure from the United States.
        On March 16, 2013, US-VISIT's entry and exit operations, including 
    deployment of a biometric exit system, were transferred to U.S. Customs 
    and Border Protection (CBP). See Consolidated and Further Continuing 
    Appropriations Act, 2013, Public Law 113-6 (2013). The Act also 
    transferred US-VISIT's overstay analysis function to U.S. Immigration 
    and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its biometric identity management 
    services to the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), a 
    newly-created office within the National Protection and Programs 
    Directorate. CBP assumed the biometric entry and exit operations on 
    April 1, 2013.
        The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that CBP will be 
    conducting a test on the collection of biometric exit information at 
    the Otay Mesa, California land border port-of-entry. This notice 
    describes the scope of the test, its purpose, how it will be 
    implemented, the persons covered, the duration of the test, and privacy 
    considerations.
    
    [[Page 70242]]
    
    Otay Mesa Land Border Port-of Entry Pedestrian Exit Test
    
        The Otay Mesa Land Border Port-of Entry Pedestrian Exit Test is a 
    short-term biometric data collection that will help CBP determine the 
    viability of capturing biometric data from certain departing aliens in 
    various environmental conditions. This test is one of CBP's key steps 
    in developing the capability to fulfill DHS' mandate to collect 
    biometric information from arriving and departing aliens.
    
    Scope, Purpose and Implementation
    
        Currently, aliens who seek admission at the Otay Mesa, California 
    land border port-of-entry may be required to provide fingerprint 
    biometric data for CBP to verify their identity. (Certain aliens, 
    including individuals traveling on A or G visas and others as specified 
    in 8 CFR 215.8(a)(2), are exempt from this requirement). During this 
    test, facial and iris images of these non-exempt aliens will be 
    captured, either via a biometric kiosk or freestanding facial and iris 
    cameras, upon arrival and departure of the alien if they cross the 
    border at the Otay Mesa land border port-of-entry. The captured 
    biometric exit data will be stored in a secure, standalone database and 
    analyzed for off-line matching against facial and iris images 
    previously captured upon arrival and associated with biometric data 
    already on file. No biometric data will be distributed from the 
    standalone database, except for analysis and reporting purposes on the 
    results of the test. Biometric information will not be collected from 
    U.S. citizens under this test.
        CBP will also collect biographic data from all travelers exiting 
    the United States at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry, including U.S. 
    citizens. Biographic data consists of the traveler's identifying 
    information provided on his or her travel documents, such as full name, 
    date of birth, gender, and country of citizenship, and does not involve 
    biometric identifiers such as fingerprints and facial or iris images. 
    The traveler's travel documents will be read upon exit via a Radio-
    Frequency Identification (RFID) technology reader, a kiosk, or a hand-
    held device.
        Pursuant to various authorities under Titles 8 and 19 of the U.S. 
    Code, and other authorities CBP enforces on behalf of third party 
    agencies at the border, CBP routinely collects biographic data from 
    travelers entering and departing the United States. See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. 
    1181, 1185, 1221; and 19 U.S.C. 1433. During the test at the Otay Mesa 
    port-of-entry, this same data will be collected from all departing 
    travelers. This will enable CBP to evaluate the viability of using 
    biographic or biometric data or a combination of the two to provide a 
    high level of confidence in validating the traveler's identity upon 
    exit.
        CBP will use the results of the test to assess the operational 
    feasibility of biometric information collection for potential 
    deployment across the U.S. southwest border. Once the biometric data is 
    captured, CBP will analyze and evaluate the test based on a number of 
    criteria, including the speed and quality of the data capture, the 
    ability to match biometric data captured upon arrival and departure, 
    the concurrent and independent capability of facial and iris 
    biometrics, and the feasibility and accuracy of capturing biometrics 
    from a distance. With regard to biographic data, CBP will use such data 
    to identify travelers who are known or suspected of being terrorists, 
    have affiliations to terrorist organizations, have active warrants for 
    criminal activity, are inadmissible, have overstayed their visas, or 
    have been otherwise identified as potential security risks or are the 
    subject of law enforcement concerns. A successful test will enhance DHS 
    security efforts at our Nation's border while expediting the movement 
    of legitimate travelers.
    
    Persons Covered
    
        For the duration of the test, all aliens shall provide the 
    biometric information described above at the time of arrival to and 
    departure from the United States to the extent they cross through the 
    Otay Mesa land port-of-entry, except for aliens who, at the time of 
    such arrival or departure, are exempt pursuant to 8 CFR 235.1(f)(1)(iv) 
    and 8 CFR 215.8(a)(2). Exempted aliens include:
        (1) Canadian citizens who under section 101(a)(15)(B) of the INA 
    who are not otherwise required to present a visa or have been issued 
    Form I-94 (see Sec.  1.4) or Form I-95 upon arrival at the United 
    States;
        (2) Aliens admitted on A-1, A-2, C-3 (except for attendants, 
    servants, or personal employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-
    3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 visas, and 
    certain Taiwan officials who hold E-1 visas and members of their 
    immediate families who hold E-1 visas who are maintaining such status 
    at time of departure, unless the Secretary of State and the Secretary 
    of Homeland Security jointly determine that a class of such aliens 
    should be subject to this notice;
        (3) Children under the age of 14;
        (4) Persons over the age of 79;
        (5) Classes of aliens the Secretary of Homeland Security and the 
    Secretary of State jointly determine shall be exempt; or
        (6) An individual alien whom the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
    the Secretary of State, or the Director of Central Intelligence 
    determines shall be exempt.
        As a part of this test, CBP will also collect biographic 
    information from all persons exiting the Otay Mesa port-of-entry.
    
    Duration of Test
    
        Beginning no earlier than December 7, 2015, CBP will collect facial 
    and iris biometric data from non-exempt aliens subject to this notice 
    upon arrival at the Otay Mesa land border port-of-entry.
        Beginning no earlier than February 1, 2016, CBP will collect facial 
    and iris biometric data from these non-exempt aliens when they exit the 
    United States through the Otay Mesa land border port-of-entry.
        Beginning no earlier than February 1, 2016, CBP will collect 
    biographic information from all persons exiting the Otay Mesa port-of-
    entry.
        This test will end on or before June 30, 2016.
        For purposes of analysis, CBP will retain data collected from this 
    test for approximately one year from the date of collection.
    
    Privacy
    
        CBP will ensure that all Privacy Act requirements and applicable 
    policies are adhered to during the implementation of this test. 
    Additionally, CBP will be issuing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), 
    which will outline how CBP will ensure compliance with Privacy Act 
    protections. The PIA will examine the privacy impact of the Otay Mesa 
    Land Border Port-of Entry Pedestrian Exit Test as it relates to DHS' 
    Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs). The FIPPs account for the 
    nature and purpose of the information being collected in relation to 
    DHS' mission to preserve, protect and secure the United States. The PIA 
    will address issues such as the security, integrity, and sharing of 
    data, use limitation and transparency. Once issued, the PIA will be 
    made publicly available at: http://www.dhs.gov/privacy-documents-us-customs-and-border-protection. CBP has also issued an update to the 
    DHS/CBP-007 Border Crossing Information (BCI) System of Records, which 
    fully encompasses all the data that is being collected at the Otay Mesa 
    land border port-of-entry for purposes of this test. The system of 
    records notice (SORN) was published in the Federal Register on May 11, 
    2015 (80 FR 26937).
    
    [[Page 70243]]
    
    Paperwork Reduction Act
    
        CBP requires aliens subject to this notice to provide biometric and 
    biographic data at the Otay Mesa port-of-entry in the circumstances 
    described above. This requirement is considered an information 
    collection requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 
    3501, et seq.). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in 
    accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, has previously approved 
    this information collection for use. The OMB control number for this 
    collection is 1651-0138.
    
        Dated: November 9, 2015.
    R. Gil Kerlikowske,
    Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28843 Filed 11-12-15; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    
    
    
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