Customs and Border Control at JFK Airport to Implement Facial Recognition

Unisys has partnered with US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to implement the new facial recognition technology at JFK International Airport in New York.

The biometrics installation is of course aimed at identifying the illegal entrance of potential criminals or imposters, but it could also streamline the process of entering the country from an international flight. To accomplish that, the solution’s operations are twofold: A scanner allows CBP officers to display biographic and biometric data; and a desktop camera is equipped to scan live facial images and compare them to electronic passport photos.

The officers use the system to analyze and compare the facial image from electronic passports—or e-Passports—to the live captured image. If the images do not match, travelers may be subject to additional investigation by CBP officers.

The deployment follows the completion of pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The system will be rolled out initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016.

“The successful tests last year at Dulles Airport proved the ability of the system to efficiently and accurately perform one-to-one facial image comparisons,” said Amy Rall, group vice president for the Department of Homeland Security practice at Unisys Federal. “This solution can help make the country safer without disrupting travel or sacrificing travelers’ privacy.”

Research is not uncommon that predicts that using DNA, fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice recognition, facial patterns, vein patterns and hand measurements to authenticate and verify people's identities will soon make passwords and other more classic authentication and identity confirmation approaches forever obsolete.

BBVA Compass economists for instance say that a wave of capital and new technology centered on biometrics, physiological and behavioral authentication is quickly making headway, and is set to not impact just homeland security.

"Biometric authentication is growing at a fast pace and shows great potential to protect individual data and enhance customer experience, particularly in the banking industry," said BBVA Compass chief economist Nathaniel Karp. "Biometrics in banking is most popular in developing economies in Asia, such as India and Indonesia; the Americas rank second."

The report also points out that biometrics offer plenty of benefits beyond strengthening proof-of-identity and enhancing fraud detection.

"As biometrically-enabled devices become standard, critical industries such as banking will be able to offer better customer experience, faster processing times, lower costs and facilitate a multi-channel environment across industries in a seamless fashion," said Karp.

Photo © Tooykrub/

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