CBP claims the Global Entry facial recognition program lowers the privacy risk to travelers by allowing “low risk” frequent travelers to bypass CBP officers and go directly to baggage claim after visiting a kiosk.
Cybersecurity expert Parham Eftekhari said CBP gave a briefing at the CES show.
He said people get worried about Big Brother when it comes to the government's infringing on their privacy.
"The private sector--your phone, your computer, all the social networking apps you use, they're collecting as much, if not more information that is private and sensitive than the government does," said Eftekhari.
He said people should trust the government as much as they do the private sector.
Eftekhari added the goal is to ultimately make travel safer from terrorists.
He said last year Delta and CBP did a pilot program for the entire boarding process using facial recognition.
"People walked up, they faced the scan, and that's how they got their ticket, they faced the scan and that's how they checked in their bags and they walked up and had their face scanned and that's how they boarded the flight," said Eftekhari.
He said the facial recognition technology is being tested domestically, not just globally.
Enrollees are not required to use the facial recognition program and can instead opt to use the passport and fingerprint method. Travelers are also still required to provide a copy of their passport and fingerprints at the time of enrollment in Global Entry.
All while this is going on, passengers traveling to the United States from Wuhan, China, are being screened at San Francisco, JFK and LAX airports for Sars-like mystery virus.