NEC to provide facial recognition technology at JFK Airport

NECNEC Corporation of America (NEC) announced on May 5 that it is working with global information technology leader Unisys to provide the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with facial comparison technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York City, to enhance the Air Entry process through accurate assurance of traveler identity. Unisys has integrated Irving, TX-based NEC’s NeoFace Match facial recognition software into its overall solution.

The CBP project is one of several initiatives CBP is working on to address a recent congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry/departure of foreign visitors. The goal is to accurately verify who arrives in the U.S., while also enhancing border security and facilitating travel.  CBP continues to provide innovative technologies to enhance the Homeland while facilitating international travel. NEC’s top NIST rated facial matching technology, will be used to compare the image taken during the normal inspection process to the image stored on the traveler’s e-Passport.  The initial deployment will apply to first time Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers and returning U.S. citizens with e-Passports.

“Recent successful tests in high traffic security screening venues 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 of NEC facial recognition technology can help make the country safer without disrupting travel or sacrificing travelers’ privacy.”

Unisys works with many of the world’s largest companies and government organizations to solve their most pressing IT and business challenges and together with NEC developed this entry/exit screening solution, which allows CBP officers to capture a live facial image.  The facial image from electronic passports – or e-Passports – is then compared to the live captured image.  If the images do not match, travelers may be subject to additional screening by CBP officers.


NEC is the market leader in multi-modal biometric identification systems with more than 200 deployments in more than 30 countries. The NeoFace facial recognition suite represents the next technical evolution and expansion of NEC’s identity-matching capabilities. The screening “collection device” can take a number of forms, such as an enhanced mobile device or an on-site security screening kiosk.


“NEC is pleased to be part of such a high profile program,” said Raffie Beroukhim, vice president, Biometrics Solutions Division, NEC Corporation of America.  “NeoFace accuracy and speed were the determining factors in selection of NEC technology and our participation in this program for the U.S. CBP is validation of NEC’s position as a biometric leader.” NEC’s NeoFace facial recognition software is ideal for security checkpoints at high traffic areas like airports, where the technology facilitates the on-boarding process with an increased level of security while reducing wait time.

Source: NEC