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JFK Airport Steps Up Customs Security With Biometric Facial Readers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you travel abroad and fly through John F. Kennedy airport, you could get your face scanned before you're let back into the country.

Customs agents at the Queens airport unveiled new bio-metric technology Tuesday that uses face recognition to match a person's face to their passport photo, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported. The technology scans your face, then compares it to a photo that is stored in a chip on your passport.

JFK is the first airport to implement these machines into their screening process. Right now, they will be used to screen people coming in from countries where visas are waived, and for performing random checks on U.S. citizens. 

According to Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, the technology was implemented to help reduce human error.

"In the past we're holding up a very small passport picture which can be up to 10 years old," Kerlikowske said.

Kerlikowske said there is no database of images and the photos taken here will not be stored in their system unless you are flagged.

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