Airport facial recognition use expanding as trials show faster passenger processing speed

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is exploring ways to expand the use of facial recognition at airports in light of the successful trial of the technology for passenger boarding at Boston Logan International Airport, ATWOnline.com reports.

CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, John Wagner said airline data is being used to confirm passenger’s identities within two to three seconds, and that the agency is considering the applicability of facial recognition to “every place you show your ID at the airport.”

The trial was launched in June through a partnership between CBP, airline JetBlue, and SITA, which recently won the Aviation Technology Award at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards for its role in the program.

Wagner said that with processing times cut by half, CBP would like to trial facial recognition to speed up arrivals.

Miami International Airport launches facial recognition mobile passport control

Passengers arriving and departing from Miami International Airport’s newly renovated Concourse E can have their identity verified by facial authentication against their passport, South Florida Business Journal reports.

The system, which involves the passenger handing his or her passport to a CBP agent, and then being verified by facial recognition, was piloted beginning in November, and allowed the inspection facility to screen up to 10 passengers a minute.

The airport also announced in August that it will allow U.S. citizens and Canadian travellers to be processed by passport control with its mobile application, which it said would make it the first airport authorized by CBP to integrate mobile passport control with its app.

CBP officials, including Wagner, recently met with privacy advocates for the second time to discuss concerns related to the Biometric Entry/Exit Program.

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