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Biometrics deployments speed up – and slow down – passenger movements worldwide

US passes 100M passengers processed with facial biometrics
Biometrics deployments speed up – and slow down – passenger movements worldwide

Biometrics for document checking continue to expand across borders and airports in the U.S., including from Clear, while facial recognition video surveillance from Innovatrics is to be installed in a new Honduran airport, and biometric e-gates fail in the UK. Again.

100 million passengers processed with facial biometrics

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has now processed more than 100 million passengers with facial biometrics, reports the Federal News Network. The expansion of facial comparison infrastructure continues as supporters praise the improved security and speed while others oppose it over privacy issues and bias, although using it is optional for passengers. The technology has also improved law enforcement, according to the report.

The latest figures reveal that biometric facial comparison technology (to compare the passenger with the photo on file with their credential) is in operation for arrival into the U.S. at 198 airports, for exit at 32 airports, across multiple terminals at eight seaports and at land ports. The CBP is piloting technology at a land border in Texas to capture the facial images of passengers in moving vehicles.

The technology has allowed a 300-plus seater plane to be boarded in 20 minutes and has enabled law enforcement to biometrically confirm over 113 overstays and capture more than 950 imposters since 2018.

Further pilots for facial matching to screen and verify the identity of pre-check passengers is underway at Detroit Metropolitan and will expand to Atlanta by the end of the year. CBP has announced that facial comparison technology for the Simplified Arrival process will be added to land border crossings at Sweetgrass and Eastport in Idaho.

Clear’s biometric security lanes now at all LAX terminals

With the expansion into the Tom Bradley Terminal, all nine of Los Angeles International Airport terminals are covered by Clear’s expedited biometric security lanes which identify passengers via iris scanning.

Lanes were launched at Oakland and Sacramento airports, bringing coverage to five California airports and 38 nationwide. Passengers pay $15 a month to use the service.

Clear is also partnered with more than a hundred other venues nationwide with its digital health pass which has just been integrated with the Apple Health app for iPhones.

Innovatrics to provide SmartFace facial recognition at new Honduras airport

Innovatrics is to supply its SmartFace biometric platform at the Palmerola International Airport under construction in Honduras.

The plan is for 22 cameras to be installed for live video stream analysis to improve security at the airport being built 70km outside the capital Tegucigalpa to replace the more central Toncontin airport, one the most challenging in the world for pilots.

SmartFace facial recognition is already in use for access control in smart buildings. The airport operators are expecting 1.5 million passengers per year.

Biometric system failure at UK airports sees long lines

It is not all plain sailing for biometric passenger services, as biometric passport gates fail at UK airports, reports The Guardian.

This is the second e-gate technical fault within two weeks, with the issues hitting London Heathrow the hardest and also affecting Edinburgh and London Gatwick.

The gates are managed by UK Border Force and the Home Office reported the technical issue was resolved within 90 minutes this time. But this still meant passengers waiting in line for hours or being held on planes.

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