GeoTech CuesFeb 15, 2022
At the nexus of technology and security: Biometrics at the border
By Seth Stodder, Thomas S. Warrick
In November 2020, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a proposed rule to expand biometric processing to all non-US citizens and remove port limitations on the use of biometrics in the exit environment. The proposal has drawn a flurry of comments, both positive and negative with multiple privacy and immigrant-advocacy organizations raising objections to the continuation of CBP’s use of facial biometrics.
Seth Stodder is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He also teaches national and homeland security law and policy at the University of Southern California Law School. Previously, Stodder was a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, advising clients on a wide variety of issues relating to national and homeland security, the COVID-19 pandemic, international trade and proceedings before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), immigration and cross-border travel, cybersecurity and data privacy, and government investigations.
Stodder served in the Obama administration as assistant secretary of homeland security for borders, immigration, and trade policy, as well as assistant secretary of homeland security for threat prevention and security policy. In these interrelated roles, he led teams developing policy and advising the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary and other senior leaders on various issues, including border security and immigration, asylum and refugee policy, international trade and foreign investment, transportation security, law enforcement, counterterrorism, and many other topics. He also led the DHS Foreign Investment Risk Management team, represented DHS on the CFIUS committee, and managed the US Visa Waiver Program. He also was co-chair of the DHS task force on the use of social media for security purposes, and he served on the DHS Climate Change Advisory Board and on the White House Atrocities Prevention Board. Earlier in his career, Stodder also served in the Bush administration as director of policy for US Customs and Border Protection, as well as counselor/senior policy advisor to US Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner.
Stodder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a sustaining member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Truman National Security Project, and serves on the advisory board for the International Summit on Borders. He also was a German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial fellow in 2008 and serves on the German Marshall Fund Alumni Leadership Council. Stodder is also a frequent writer, speaker, and commentator on national and homeland security issues. He is a member of the US Supreme Court Bar and the California Bar. He received his BA in history from Haverford College and his JD from the University of Southern California Law School.