CBP deploys facial recognition at 1 TSA checkpoint at JFK Airport

Deployment assesses the use of biometric technology to verify international travelers’ identities at a TSA checkpoint

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started a 30-day trial of facial biometric technology at one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

CBP is partnering with TSA to use international passengers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint to compare against the photo in their travel document.

CBP will use the flight manifests to build a photo gallery of passengers boarding international flights using the passengers’ images from passports, visas, and other travel documents.

When passengers on outbound international flights reach the TSA ticket document checking podium, the TSA officer will review the passenger’s boarding pass and identity documents in accordance with TSA’s standard operating procedures and will then direct the passenger to a camera placed next to the podium. After capturing the facial image, the passenger will proceed through the TSA security checkpoint and to their departure gate as usual.

The pictures captured at the TSA ticket document checking podium will then be compared with the digital photo gallery created from passenger’s international travel documents.

The trial is similar to those at a number of U.S. airports including Las Vegas, Houston, Washington, DC and Chicago. CBP has deployed biometric technology at a single gate at eight U.S. international airports as part of the agency’s implementation of a biometric exit system.

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

The aim of the trials CBP is to implement an integrated biometric entry/exit process that provides significant benefits to air travel partners in addition to meeting the congressional mandate for a biometric exit system.

N.B. Image credit: CBP

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