The department said Thursday that it has no plans to expand facial recognition to U.S. citizens. A spokesman said DHS will delete the idea from its regulatory agenda, where privacy advocates spotted it this week.
The advocates and lawmakers accused DHS of reneging on repeated promises not to force American citizens to be photographed leaving or entering the United States, a process that is required for foreign visitors.
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called the administration’s retreat “a victory for every single American traveler who flies on a plane.” He credited public pressure for the about-face. He said, however, that he still plans to introduce legislation to ban biometric surveillance of Americans.