US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented facial recognition technology at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to enhance security. The added technology will reduce the risk of human error when travelers are being admitted into the country.
The facial recognition technology was used in a two-month trial period, ending in May 2015, at Washington Dulles International Airport. A CBP spokesperson said the technology will be used full time at Dulles as early as this month. Following the trial in Washington, CPB announced that they were initiating further trials.
In New York, the technology is being used for first-time Visa Waiver Program travelers and US citizens returning to the United States. The system matches travelers’ faces to the photos stored on the chip of their e-passports. As passports are checked manually by CBP officers, the main goal in introducing the technology, is to weed out travelers with fake passports and/or false identities attempting to enter the United States.
CBP Commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, said, “The biometric capability will aid our officers in identifying legitimate travelers while protecting them from fraud and identity theft with little to no delay to the entry process.”
All US travelers returning to the country and anyone traveling through the Visa Waiver Program will be required to have their photo taken, if they have not already. Any US citizen with an e-passport traveling through a participating airport may be selected for facial comparison. The Department of Homeland Security stated that the photos taken for the program’s purposes will only be retained when travelers are “subject to an adverse or law enforcement action resulting from secondary inspection.”
In response to November’s Paris attacks, the US recently revealed its plan to overhaul the Visa Waiver Program, used by more than 20 million travellers per year. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 38 countries to enter the United States for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. In return, US citizens can do the same for a similar time period in those 38 countries. The US anticipates overhauling the program to heighten security.
The State Department has not yet released its formal plan for the future of the Visa Waiver Program, but it is likely that travellers from a certain list of countries will be required to obtain a Visa before entering the US. Let Gateway VIP Services and our airport concierge assist you today with airport security assistance to ensure a safe and seamless travel experience. [Click Here]
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