Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has completed the rollout of facial comparison technology at all U.S. airports for international arrivals, a milestone in the deployment of biometric technology for the agency to secure and streamline travel to and from the U.S.

The biometric entry program, called Simplified Arrival, automates manual document checks by using a camera and matching algorithm to verify the identities of travelers after they present their travel documents.

After arriving at the primary inspection station at an airport, a traveler presents his or her travel document and pauses for a photo. A CBP officer will review and query the document, which will retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from a government database for comparison against the live photo.

The biometric matching process takes several seconds and is more than 98 percent accurate, CBP said.

“I am very proud that CBP accomplished this critical milestone to deploy facial biometrics at entry at all U.S. airports and continues to play a significant role in the travel recovery efforts,” Diane Sabatino, deputy executive assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, said in a statement. “The use of facial biometrics for identify verification brings travelers one step closer to a truly touchless process that is secure and streamlines travel while protecting their privacy and enhancing the customer experience.”

Foreign travelers arriving in the U.S. for the first time must provide fingerprints to confirm their identity. Foreign arrivals who have traveled to the country previously may not have to provide their fingerprints and instead the facial comparison technology will confirm their identity.

At U.S. airports for international departures, CBP is working with airlines and airports to deploy facial recognition technology to record the exit of foreign nationals and participating U.S. citizens. The technology is also deployed at 13 seaports for use by cruise lines and at most pedestrian and bus processing facilities along the northern and southern land borders.

CBP uses a facial matching algorithm provided by NEC Corp.