CBP Deploys Facial Recognition at 1 TSA Checkpoint at JFK (See in Action)

CBP has been working closely with airline and airport stakeholders to test biometric exit technology and as a result has developed a viable exit solution based on facial recognition
CBP has been working closely with airline and airport stakeholders to test biometric exit technology and as a result has developed a viable exit solution based on facial recognition

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Exit/Entry Program, a competitor in the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is deploying facial recognition biometric technology at one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport for 30 days.

As part of this technical demonstration, CBP is partnering with TSA to utilize international travelers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint to compare against travel document photographs.

(Learn More, courtesy of CBP, Bridget Bosch and YouTube)

“As we continue to deploy technical demonstrations, CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travelers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding process,” said John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations.

John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations
John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations

“Expanding these demonstrations to the TSA process is the next step in CBP’s goal of transforming and improving air travel—making it smoother, seamless and more efficient for travelers—while also enhancing the security of the process.”

As in CBP’s current biometric exit technical demonstrations, CBP 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 officers are trained and prepared to professionally process in accordance with the laws of the United States persons with valid visas who present themselves for entry. (Image courtesy of CBP)
CBP officers are trained and prepared to professionally process in accordance with the laws of the United States persons with valid visas who present themselves for entry. (Image courtesy of CBP)

CBP will use the facial images for analytical purposes only and all images will be deleted within 14 days.

CBP and TSA remain committed to protecting the privacy of all travelers.

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

CBP will implement an integrated biometric entry/exit process that provides significant benefits to air travel partners.

CBP Exit/Entry Program at a Glance

As the guardian of the nation’s borders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a multi-layered mission and is a world-class law enforcement agency that adapts to counter new threats; protects the nation’s economic vitality; and manages increasing volumes of travel and trade to the United States.

Since 2013, CBP has been leading efforts to implement a biometric exit program at the nations ports of entry to meet the congressional mandate and ensure a seamless travel experience.

Beginning with the air environment, CBP will implement a biometric exit system that enhances security, minimizes the impact to travelers, controls costs, and safeguards privacy.

During the summer of 2017, CBP deployed technical demonstrations to confirm traveler identity through facial biometrics, at a number of U.S. airports.

Dulles International Airport
A fast-photo match at the gate on will help expedite boarding experience while providing biometrics-based exit verification

These pilots built off the success of prior tests and expanded exit implementations through public-private partnerships.

Under these efforts, CBP is learning best practices for operations and integration into existing airline boarding processes as these processes vary from airport to airport.

As an example of CBP’s public-private partnerships, this pilot is collaborating with NEC Corporation of America, for their commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) NeoFace® Express device and cloud-based NeoFace matching as key facial recognition components of a frictionless biometric exit process in Dulles International Airport.

(Learn More about NEC World’s No. 1 Face Recognition Solution, NeoFace. Courtesy of NEC Corporation and YouTube)

NEC Corporation’s face recognition technology recently achieved the highest performance evaluation in the recent Face in Video Evaluation (FIVE) performed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The use of facial biometric technology has the potential to transform how travelers interact with airports, airlines and CBP—which has the potential to create a seamless travel process, improving both convenience and security.

Moving forward, CBP will continue to collaborate with the air travel industry and TSA to ensure the successful implementation of biometric exit; transform the entry process; and expand public-private partnerships, which will ultimately transform the overall passenger experience.