Airport biometrics implementations for Digi Yatra, TSA, CBP, Australia Border Force advance

Airport biometrics implementations for Digi Yatra, TSA, CBP, Australia Border Force advance

Three gates from NEC with facial recognition are being launched at Lohegaon airport in Pune, India as part of the Digi Yatra scheme, The Times of India reports.

The gates have been deployed at the terminal entrance, security holding area and boarding area, according to a spokesperson for NEC.

“Passengers can create a Digi Yatra ID and capture their facial image at self-service kiosks. The flyers can then proceed to the electronic gates, authenticate their boarding passes and then breeze through check-in, security checks and boarding – entirely through facial recognition,” the spokesperson told the Times.

The system was implemented to help with capacity at the airport, which serves 30,000 passengers each day, according to the report.

The optional system has been implemented at several other airports, including recently at Bengaluru airport, which caused some concern among privacy experts due to the involvement of the non-Indian biometrics provider.

Oversight board observes Las Vegas project

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board of the U.S. Federal Government has traveled to Las Vegas to check out the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) implementation of facial recognition at McCarran International Airport, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Aviation security is one of the very important post-9/11 focus points,” said Chairman of the Board Adam Klein. “We’re very aware of the public’s interest in the roll out of facial recognition to verify the various points in the passenger journey.”

The 30-day trial at TSA’s pre-check lane in Terminal 3 began in late August and ended last week. The agency assessed its matching ability during the trial.

“We’re aware of the questions that the members of the public, nongovernmental organizations, members of Congress and others have raised about the technology,” Klein says. “We’re looking at things like what is the security motivation for using this, what types of data are being collected, how’s it being analyzed and how is it being stored and are there any other uses of the data on the back end.”

The Review-Journal reports that the review of both the passenger and operator sides of the system gave the board greater insight into the process. Board member Ed Felton told the publication that the board is considering future implementations of facial recognition and other biometrics for aviation security. Travis LeBlanc, another board member, said the group is concerned about accuracy and bias in the system, as well as how the regulatory process unfolds.

“For example, when people can opt out and what happens when you opt out,” LeBlanc asks. “Or which data to retain, not just to use to make the actual decision, but what data are we going to keep and how long are we going to keep it, with whom you can share. What are we going to do about children? I think a lot of these policy calls generate the kind of questions and concerns that passengers, consumers and citizens have about privacy today.”

“We’re aware that the government is moving forward relatively quickly with this, so we understand we have to match our efforts at which these technologies are being deployed,” Klein says.

CBP launches Simplified Arrival at Detroit Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched its Simplified Arrival process to capture the facial biometrics of foreign nationals arriving in the country at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), with Homeland Preparedness News reporting that the CBP built a service to support facial recognition throughout the passenger journey.

Several Privacy Impact Assessments were performed, strong technical security safeguards were built into the system, and the amount of personally identifiable information used in the process was limited, according to the report.

Delta is planning to implement its next biometric terminal at the airport, which already has self-service biometric kiosks for passenger check-in.

Australian Border Force deploys iPhones for biometrics

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has provided iPhones to its Border Force officers to perform fingerprint biometric checks of foreign travellers at all international airports, according to iTnews.

The smartphones were trialed at Brisbane International Airport in 2017, and have now been rolled out to an unknown number of the 6,000 ABF officers, to perform identify confirmation in less than 60 seconds. The program is called Enhanced Biometrics at the Border (EBatB), and replaces bulky biometric scanners which the Force had previously used. A portable fingerprint scanner plugs into the bottom of the devices to allow checks of travelers flagged by other airports for further checks. The check returns passport, travel document, and visa information of travelers, as well as whether they appear among the 700,000 people on the department’s alert list.

The Australian Signals Directorate has only approved Apple’s iOS for its cryptographic evaluation program, though the agency is currently evaluating Samsung’s custom Android OS for Galaxy S9 and S9+.

Australia has performed biometric checks for visitors from more than 40 countries for several years.

The country has not yet implemented the new biometric smart gates from Vision-Box it plans to use for arrivals, although it did recently move forward with a departure gates deal with the company.

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