US Customs and Border Protection has begun testing new biometric technology for travellers departing the US at the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing.Travelers will provide biographic data via their travel documents at newly installed outbound kiosks, identical to inbound processing. Certain non-US citizens will also provide facial and iris biometrics to compare to their entry record beginning February 22. The test will run until May 2016 and no biometric data will be requested from US citizens either on entry or exit.The exit project follows the launch in December of biometric checks on foreign nationals entering the country, using new kiosks equipped with facial and iris recognition technology.For the exit process, biometric data will be garnered from travel documents at recently installed kiosks identical to those used for inbound processing.”CBP is committed to testing, deploying and implementing biometric technologies in a way that accomplishes our security and facilitation missions,” San Diego Field Operations Director Pete Flores said. “This test will help inform technological next steps in developing and implementing a biometric entry/exit solution, not just on the land border, but in all environments.”CBP officials said the purpose of the test is to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies in an outdoor, pedestrian environment.”In addition, it will help determine the accuracy of matching entry records created using those technologies upon exit and the feasibility of integrating biometric data collection with biographic data collection. This information will be critical to CBP in helping to identify future system requirements for processing these new forms of data”. The CBP noted that improved technology for comparing entries and exits along the land border will enhance the agency's ability to secure the border, identify visa overstays, identify persons of interest, and improve reporting and analysis of international visitors to the US.”This technology test is a direct result of recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, and is a critical step towards addressing Congressional mandates to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-US citizens, including reporting on those who have overstayed the period of their admission”.The CBP also stressed that images taken during the testing will be used for purposes of this limited project only. Biometric exit will be a key topic at the connect:ID conference from March 14-16, 2016 in Washington, DC at the Walter E Washington Convention Center, with a selection of Panels, Keynote Presenters and Interactive Sessions set to tackle the issue.For instance, the Apex Air Entry/Exit Re-engineering (AEER) team is providing a Panel, which will feature a wide-ranging discussion of the Department of Homeland Security's approach to the biometric exit challenge over the last two years. This will cover lessons learned, the importance of human factors and Customs and Border Protection's path towards defining a national biometric exit solution.There will also be a special session giving industry a chance to interact with the AEER team, and have their key questions answered. On the second day, there will be a special Congressional Panel that will focus on border security, biometric exit and the visa-waiver program (VWP). Current panelists include Paul Anstine, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, US Congress, and Gene P. Hamilton, General Counsel, Senator Jeff Sessions, Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration & the National Interest, Senate Committee on the JudiciaryThe connect:ID organisers have also revealed that there will be an opening keynote from John Wagner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection.