May 17, 2022

Report: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Says Photos of Travelers Into and Out of the Country Were Recently Taken in a Data Breach

From The Washington Post:

On Monday, CBP said it learned last month that the images, which also include license plate photos, were accessed through the network of one of its subcontractors.


Customs officials said in a statement Monday that the images, which included photos of people’s license plates, had been compromised as part of an attack on a federal subcontractor.

The agency maintains a database including passport and visa photos that is used at airports as part of an agency facial-recognition program. CBP declined to say what images were stolen or how many people were affected.

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From TechCrunch:

It remains unclear exactly what kind of photos were taken, such as if the images were collected directly from CBP officers by visitors entering the U.S. or part of the agency’s rollout of facial recognition technology at U.S. airports.

The agency, which processes more than a million travelers entering the U.S. every day, maintains a database of traveler images, including passport and visa photos. The database has come under fire from a federal watchdog, which said the accuracy of the system was subpar.

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More to Come

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.