Feds install biometric facial readers at JFK

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Customs agents are now using facial comparison technology at JFK Airport.

They will use a computer program to help verify if a traveler enting the country matches the picture on their passport.

The initial deployment will apply to some first-time Visa Waiver Program travelers and returning U.S. citizens with ePassports.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency claims the biometric reader will add little to no delay to the entry process.

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

The facial comparison technology was tested last year at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The agency says it is also evaluating other new biometric technologies.

Since 2007, U.S. passports have had a chip embedded in them that securely stores the same information that’s on the photo page of the passport, which includes a biometric identifier in the form of a digital image of the passport photograph.