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US Customs begins using facial comparison technology on Caribbean travelers

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency said it has begun using facial comparison technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York to help verify that Caribbean and other travellers entering the United States match the passport presented.

On Wednesday, the CBP said the initial deployment applies to some first-time Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travellers, 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 travellers 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 traveller."

The technology compares an image of the traveller taken during the normal inspection process to the image stored on the traveller's ePassport, verifying that the traveller is the rightful document holder, CBP said.

The images taken will be deleted unless it determines that further administrative or enforcement actions are necessary.