Home secretary Jacqui Smith has launched a new ‘e-borders’ electronic border system which will use facial recognition technology to track visitors in and out of the country.
The new system will ensure that by 2014 every visitor is checked against immigration and security watch-lists and counted in and out of the country.
From this month the UK Border Agency will trial the new technology at Manchester Airport, which will use scanning equipment to compare the faces of UK and European Economic Area passengers with their biometric passports.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “Our hi-tech electronic system will allow us to count all foreign nationals in and out of the country, while checking them against watch-lists.
“These checks make up just one part of Britain’s triple ring of security, alongside fingerprint visas for three-quarters of the world’s population, and the roll-out of ID cards for foreign nationals locking people to one identity.”