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TSA piloting facial recognition technology at LAX

In an effort to enhance security while easing the screening process for travelers, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing facial recognition and enhanced body scanner technology at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

The facial recognition pilot automates the identification and boarding pass verification process. Travelers who are ticketed on an international flight can opt to use the biometric recognition system to verify their identity. After a traveler scans their boarding pass and passport, a camera activates and takes a photo of the passenger. The system verifies that the name on the boarding pass and passport match. It also confirms that the passport photo and the photo taken by the camera match.

The second pilot project features an enhanced Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit with increased detection capabilities. The body scanner does not require travelers to raise their hands over their head during the scan and it also provides corrective feedback to the TSA officer, alerting the officer if a passenger is improperly positioned in the unit. This capability may allow passengers to adjust their stance and be rescanned, which could reduce the need for a pat down.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is also testing facial recognition technology. As previously reported, the CBP will run a pilot program as early as this summer to use facial verification to identify automobile drivers and passengers in moving vehicles as they pass through a border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico.

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