Unisys, a global information technology company, recently began implementing the company’s facial recognition system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in an effort to aid US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in identifying imposters entering the US with fraudulent passports.
The solution allows CBP officers to access biographic and biometric information from travelers’ passports. A desktop camera captures live facial images and this data is then inputted into the Unisys system and compared to the image from the electronic passports. If there are any problems in attempting to match the traveler to their passport ID photo, they are subject to additional inquiry.
The deployment at JFK follows the successful completion of pilot testing of the system at Washington Dulles International Airport last year. As a result of this testing phase of the project at Dulles, CBP began to consider expanding theprogram to additional US airports, pending budget approval. As of January 2016, the system is being used in three out of JFK’s eight terminals.
“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.”
The announcement emerges on the heels of a new intelligence report warning that ISIS may be creating fake passports. Amid these concerns, biometrics are playing an increasingly significant role in protecting the homeland against terrorist threats.