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John Wagner, deputy executive assistant commissioner at the Office of Field Operations in US Customs & Border Protection and Sammies 2019 finalist, discusses how facial recognition will greatly improve security at airports.

The Department of Homeland Security says that it wants facial recognition software to process 97 percent of outbound travelers within the next four years. The technology has already seen some success at Washington D.C.’s Dulles Airport. The systems in place have earned John Wagner, deputy executive assistant commissioner at the Office of Field Operations in US Customs & Border Protection, nomination for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medals. Wagner said that the success of the program lies in better technology and more collaboration.

 

“The facial recognition algorithms have really come a long way, camera technology’s come a long way. You know, that intersecting with our relationships with the airlines and the airport authorities and not necessarily having different goals and different objectives, but putting them all together and saying how do we figure this out together,” Wagner said. “Do not put the traveler in the middle of all of this facilitation versus security and try to solve the problems, using the shared expertise and others coming together.”

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