US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will begin using facial comparison technology at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York in order to match passengers entering the country against their biometric passports. The initial deployment will apply to some first-time Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers and returning US citizens with e-passports.
R Gil Kerlikowske, CBP commissioner, said, “CBP continues to provide innovative technologies to enhance homeland security while facilitating international travel. This biometric capability will aid our officers in identifying legitimate travelers while protecting them from fraud and identity theft with little to no delay to the entry process. CBP continues to implement technologies that benefit both national security and the traveler.”
The technology compares an image of the traveler taken during the normal inspection process to the image stored on the traveler’s e-passport, verifying that the traveler is the rightful document holder. The images taken will be deleted unless CBP determines that further administrative or enforcement actions are necessary.
CBP began testing facial comparison technology in 2015 at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, USA. The results from the test demonstrated that the system successfully performed matches against actual passports and live captured images.