Letter: CBP has no plans to change card technology
In the interest of ensuring your readers have an accurate perspective of Customs and Border Protection's position on secure documents, I'd like to reiterate some points I made in a recent interview and speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to clarify the information presented in the Federal Computer Week article "DHS exploring integration of ID card standards." First, I do not want to leave the impression that CBP has current plans to either change the technology of our cards or readers or accept Transportation Security Administration-issued Transportation Worker Identification Credential cards as a secure Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document for entry through a port of entry. CBP selected vicinity radio frequency identification technology for its land border management system because it affords the most benefits for travelers while balancing security. Vicinity RFID technology will be incorporated into new WHTI-compliant documents such as the Passport Card issued by the State Department and the Enhanced Driver's License issued by the states. The Border Crossing Card will be upgraded to include vicinity RFID technology. Although requirements and purposes for secure identification documents are currently different, the Homeland Security Department is looking and will continue to look at harmonizing programs and identification documents used by its agencies in their various missions. In concept, I am open to the potential for the future harmonization between trusted traveler border crossing programs under CBP that require background checks and other DHS initiatives that conduct similar background checks for other purposes.