Will facial recognition at the United States-Canada border be here soon?

Documents obtained by media outline Canada-United States security plan

According to the Canadian Press, the Customs and Immigrations Union, which represents Canadian border officials, is backing the idea of a more secure border arrangement between Canada and the United States. The agreement, which both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and United States President Barack Obama have signed, makes the possibility of a formal North American Security Perimeter very real.

Suggestions by the Customs and Immigrations Union include an end to border closures, reduced hours at land border crossings, more intensive screenings of travelers and the use of a biometric facial recognition tool that would look for threats or wanted criminals.

The union submitted some of its suggestions as a part of a federal consultation on the United States-Canada border, which has been very limited to the public so far. The Canadian Press obtained the submission using the Access to Information Act.

Canada Border Services Agency calls for facial recognition software

Canada Border Services Agency, which is represented by the union, says the software can match traveler’s faces with those in computer databases. According to the documents obtained by the Canadian Press, while the overall plan is unclear there are references to “combined Canadian and United States screening efforts”, “suitably screened and secured cargo containers” and “matching of biometrics that enable the sharing of information on travelers in real time.”

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About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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