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CBP begins 30-day facial recognition pilot at JFK airport


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have deployed facial recognition technology at one TSA checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport for 30 days.

CBP is partnering with TSA in this pilot project to assess the use of biometric technology to verify international travelers’ identities at a TSA checkpoint using international travelers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint to compare against travel document photographs.

“As we continue to deploy technical demonstrations, CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travelers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding process,” explained John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations.

“Expanding these demonstrations to the TSA process is the next step in CBP’s goal of transforming and improving air travel — making it smoother, seamless and more efficient for travelers — while also enhancing the security of the process.”

CBP will use the flight manifests to build a photo gallery of travelers boarding international flights using images from travel documents. TSA officer’s will review traveler’s boarding pass and identity documents in accordance with standard operating procedures and will then direct the traveler to a camera placed next to the podium. After capturing the facial image, the traveler will proceed through the TSA security checkpoint and to their departure gate as usual.

CBP will use the facial images for analytical purposes only and all images will be deleted within 14 days.

Just last month it was revealed that CPB is working to have the technical capability to support biometric exit at the top 20 U.S. airports by early next year.

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