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Governments want more airport biometric scans

Governments want more airport biometric scans

The move to universal, mandatory use of facial recognition in airports feels inexorable, with a major UK airport skipping entreaties for polite insistence and bureaucratic pressure in the U.S.

Both news items stand in contrast to the carrot-vs.-stick approach that is still common globally.

An article in the Korea JoongAng Daily favorably covers the advent of optional face biometrics stations utilizing Alchera algorithms at Incheon International Airport.

In Manchester, England, people are learning of new requirements to submit face biometrics to board flights to elsewhere in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Manchester Airport posted a brief summary of the requirement on X/Twitter. Travelers on international flights transferring planes in the UK also will have to surrender a facial image.

And in the United States, pressure from border officials reportedly is resulting in some airline employees telling citizens exiting the U.S. that they must submit to a face match prior to boarding a flight leaving the country.

That is not true, according to a May 2 report by the Congressional Research Service, a unit of the Library of Congress. U.S. citizens are not required to provide biometrics in either direction.

That said, according to a Customs and Border Protection document obtained by the investigative journalism site 404 Media, the government wants to move closer to its intended number of face-matching checks.

According to the publication, Customs wants 75 percent of passengers exiting the U.S. to have their faces scanned.

A customs executive reportedly responded, saying that Congress in 2018 told the Department of Homeland Security, parent of Customs, in 2018 that it wanted at least 97 percent compliance.

The executive reportedly also confirmed that Customs is changing how it measures its monthly biometrics performance. While it had tallied the percentage of all flights carrying at least one scanned passenger, the agency now will track the percentage of all passengers who submit to biometric scanning.

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