TSA deploys facial recognition at JFK checkpoint

Federal authorities have announced the deployment of biometric technology to verify international travelers’ identities at one TSA checkpoint at JFK Airport in New York City.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says the facial recognition biometric technology will be tested for 30 days. As part of the test, international travelers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint will be compared against travel document photographs.

The authorities are assessing the possibility of using biometric technology instead of a boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding process.

They say that will transform and improve air travel by making it smoother, seamless and more efficient for travelers while also enhancing security.

Customs agents will use the flight manifests to build a photo gallery of travelers boarding international flights using travelers’ images from passports, visas, and other travel documents. When travelers on outbound international flights reach the TSA ticket document checking podium, the TSA officer will review the traveler’s boarding pass and identity documents in accordance with TSA’s 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.  It claims that all of the images will be deleted within 14 days.

CBP has deployed biometric technology at a gate at eight airports as part of the agency’s implementation of a biometric exit system.