Tags: facial | scanning | airports | tsa

Facial Scanning at All Airports Is TSA's Plan

man's face with illustration of facial recognition technology
Illustration of facial recognition technology. (Vchalup/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:32 AM

Facial scanning will replace traditional identification and travel documents at airports nationwide, the Transportation Security Administration revealed Monday in its plan to modernize identity verification.

Last month the agency released the "Biometrics Roadmap," which outlined concepts to "enhance security effectiveness, improve operational efficiency, and yield a consistent, streamlined passenger experience in coordination with our aviation security partners," said TSA administrator David Pekoske.

The agency is now expanding upon its biometrics technology to implement facial recognition as an official means of passenger identity verification in the upcoming years.

In a news release, TSA highlighted how it first began testing facial recognition technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport through a collaboration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The initiative was then implemented at the Los Angeles International Airport and now TSA plans to partner with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines and CBP to launch the first biometric terminal that will use facial recognition for self-service bag drop-ins, ID verification and flight boarding.

The service works through technology that matches facial images to photos stored in government databases and is meant to "reduce reliance on physical documents."

Last month, all precheck members were required to provide the agency with a photograph to be used for facial scans, Popular Mechanics noted.

Similar technology has already been implemented in other parts of the world, such as at Shanghai's Hongqiao airport, but it has raised concerns over privacy.

Last year Jeramie Scott, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told The Washington Post that the technology could be used for "mass, indiscriminate surveillance" and that it could pose a "serious risk of mission creep.

Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights group, further noted that facial recognition was an invasive form of surveillance, NPR noted.

"We can change our bank account numbers, we even can change our names, but we cannot change our faces," Schwartz said. "And once the information is out there, it could be misused."

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Airports nationwide will implement facial scanning in place of traditional identification and travel documents, the Transportation Security Administration said Monday.
facial, scanning, airports, tsa
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:32 AM
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