The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is testing an exciting process that will enable air travellers to have a “touchless” experience when passing through Canadian airports on their international trips. Under the Chain of Trust process, your identity would be captured on a combination of technologies, so that you would be free to proceed through the steps of your trip without having to interact with border services officers.
This prototype, currently being tested at the CBSA Lab, is one of many ways the Agency is using innovative state-of-the-art technology to address rising volumes of international travellers, the high expectations of these travellers, as well as unpredictable and complex security threats.
How it would work
The Chain of Trust process would require travellers to download an app to their smartphone and create an account including a unique identifier built from their biometrics.
At every stage of the trip-from flight reservation, to obtaining the boarding pass, to disembarking the plane—the traveller’s data would be collected and used to speed up the traveller’s passage. Just before landing, the traveller would create an e-declaration and digitally sign it using biometric facial recognition. Upon arrival, cameras would match the biometric face to the traveller’s unique identifier. As privacy is of paramount importance to this initiative, the system will be configured to encrypt the biometrics and safeguard the privacy of all users.
Another key aspect of this system is that it would free up CBSA’s border officers from routine administrative tasks, enabling them to focus on identifying and interdicting higher-risk goods and people crossing the border. For the Agency, low-risk parties constitute 98 percent of our clientele.
Technology and Partnerships
The Chain of Trust prototype demonstrates effective partnerships and collaboration between public and private sectors, especially with respect to state-of-the-art technology.
The CBSA has worked closely with other federal departments on the prototype. Various private sector companies assisted with technology integration and security, while expertise for the biometrics came from the University of Ottawa.
The result? Seamless air travel process for the international air traveller, with little to no wait time.
The Chain of Trust prototype is an example of how the CBSA is building an efficient and innovative Border of the Future, while at the same time, upholding safety and security for all who cross the border.
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