Airport biometrics use grows in Beijing, Rome, San Fran, Tokyo and Delhi as Schiphol spoofed
Facial recognition is now live for certain travelers for a range of processes at the Beijing Daxing International Airport, including ticket turnstiles at the train station, customs checks, and duty-free purchases, Bloomberg reports.
The biometric technology for the sprawling and starfish-shaped new facility is provided by SenseTime, and the airport’s Deputy General Manager of Planning and Design Wang Qiang says it will speed up the traveler journey throughout the airport. Security checkpoints now process four passengers per minute, he says.
In a blog post on the 2019 China IT Insights survey, Sita VP of East Asia May Zhou notes that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts passenger volumes in the country will reach 1.6 billion by 2037.
Passengers at Beijing Daxing can register their documents or their facial biometrics at check-in kiosks, but the technology is only operational so far for staff at stations for the Daxing Express high-speed train, according to the report.
The effectiveness of facial recognition technology for sensitive applications like aviation security and payments is being called into question, however, after a team of researchers from artificial intelligence company Kneron was able to successfully spoof the biometric self-boarding system at Schiphol Airport with a photo on a phone screen, as well as several systems in China, according to Fortune.
Kneron employees say they defeated payment systems from AliPay and WeChat with high quality 3D masks, and used images on phone screens to defeat payment and boarding systems at Chinese rail stations.
Kneron acknowledges the attacks with masks do not scale well, as the ones used were obtained from a specialty manufacturer in Japan, but said it still poses a significant risk.
“This shows the threat to the privacy of users with sub-par facial recognition that is masquerading as ‘AI’.” Kneron’s CEO Albert Liu said. “The technology is available to fix these issues but firms have not upgraded it. They are taking shortcuts at the expense of security.”
Rome launches biometric checks
Rome’s Fiumicino airport will trial biometric facial recognition technology to verify the identity of departing passengers for check-in and boarding, becoming the first in Italy to do so, according to the announcement by airport operator Aeroporti di Roma.
The new system, supported by Enac and State Police, supports faster procedures, including for security, according to the announcement, and improves traveler experiences. Facial verification is performed against the passenger’s passport, and compared to information in a boarding card, but neither travel document will need to be shown to an official.
No image is stored, and captured templates will be deleted when the passenger moves through the dedicated lane and boarded the aircraft.
“We are delighted,” states CEO of ADR, Uo de Carolis, “to announce the launch of this development in the Roman airport that, from today, is the first in Italy and one of the first in Europe to trial this innovative technology that will allow us to further increase the comfort of our passengers. We have recently received a further recognition that has praised Fiumicino’s quality, which has placed it in first place in Europe with regards to passenger satisfaction. We are confident that, thanks also to the use of new technology, we will be able to best meet the challenges of the future to guarantee you an ever safer and more comfortable stay at the airport.”
SFO launches Telos ID employee background checks
For behind the scenes identity verification, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has selected Telos ID to provide biometric Designated Aviation Channeling (DAC) background checks approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Individuals working in secured areas of the airport can be checked with the DAC service based on biometric and biographic data submitted by workers. Telos ID also uses the FBI Rap Back Program and provided training and integration for the system with HID SAFE, which is the airport identity management system (AIDMS) used by SFO.
“The DAC services deployment at San Francisco International Airport is notable for its size and scope, specifically the integration with SFO’s AIDMS, enabling efficient I-9 document transfer and Rap Back transmissions,” says Dawn E. Lucini, vice president of aviation security, Telos ID. “With more than 25 thousand badge holders, we have streamlined the worker background check process, while upholding the high security standards at SFO.”
Telos ID says its DAC services meet TSA and DHS requirements for handling personally identifiable information (PII), yet allows users to securely access the system from anywhere as an encrypted, web-based solution.
Tokyo gets NEC waiting time system
Facial biometrics from NEC are powering the new Waiting Time Forecast System at the International Passenger Terminal of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
The system combines the crowd behavior analysis capabilities of NEC the WISE and 3D stereo-visual sensors which capture the movements of people on-screen. Together the technologies enable analysis of passenger numbers and flow, and real-time visualization of congestion to estimate wait time.
The company hopes the technology will increase convenience for passengers and allow for more even utilization of security inspection sites to reduce delays. NEC also plans to further develop the technology for improved accuracy and longer—range wait time estimates.
“In addition to airport systems, NEC will continue to develop advanced ICT-based solutions and services, including video analysis technologies, for introduction to stadiums, theme parks, and other leading facilities,” comments NEC Corporation Smart Infrastructure Division General Manager Kazuo Watanabe. “NEC positions its safety business as an engine for global growth, and will continue to promote the NEC Safer Cities initiative for building smart cities based on proprietary technologies that support safety, security and contribute to the creation of an affluent society.”
Digi Yatra attracts 2,600 sign-ups and criticism
The Digi Yatra program has signed up more than 2,600 people for facial biometric verification at Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3, MediaNama reports.
The Minister of State for the Civil Aviation Ministry updated the Lok Sabha on the progress of the scheme, which was launched in 2018, and said the first phase of the Digi Yatra rollout has reached airports at Kolkata, Pune, Vijayawada, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Mumbai and Delhi. The voluntary Delhi Airport trial launched in September.
MediaNama questions whether the system really is “seamless,” as authorities suggest. The article notes that for those without Aadhaar, a manual document check must be performed on sign-up, and suggests that unless it is made mandatory, it will not prevent fake tickets or identification from being used. The report also expresses concern that the data retention policies are only set for the trials, and that the system could be integrated with others, like the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).