The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it has begun using facial comparison technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York to help verify that Caribbean and other travelers entering the United States match the passport presented.
On Wednesday, CBP said the initial deployment applies to some first-time Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers, as well as returning US citizens with ePassports.
“CBP continues to provide innovative technologies to enhance homeland security while facilitating international travel,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “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 ePassport, verifying that the traveler is the rightful document holder, CBP said.
The images taken will be deleted unless it determines that further administrative or enforcement actions are necessary.
“CBP remains committed to protecting the privacy and civil rights and civil liberties of all travelers,” said the statement, adding that CBP tested facial comparison technology last year at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The results of that testing determined the system successfully performed matches against actual passports and live captured images.