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US airlines and TSA partner on expanded use of digital ID through face biometrics

US airlines and TSA partner on expanded use of digital ID through face biometrics

The U.S Transportation Security Administration is advancing face biometrics checks for members of its PreCheck program in partnership with airlines.

The implications of the new TSA PreCheck Touchless ID service for Clear and its membership-based airport biometrics service are unclear.

Delta and United Airlines are each piloting processes to replace boarding pass and physical ID document checks with face biometrics

United supports PreCheck Touchless ID for bag drops at O’Hare International in Chicago, and for security checks at O’Hare and Los Angeles International (LAX). Passengers can opt into the process by submitting selfie biometrics through United’s mobile app.

Clear formed a partnership with United to offer membership through the airlines’ mobile app in late-2022.

Delta Digital ID is being piloted at Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York’s La Guardia and JFK airports. The program was initially launched at the end of last year at LAX, LGA and JFK. “Digital ID” signs identify the bag drop and security lines where Delta’s biometric service is being piloted. Passengers opt in during check-in through the Fly Delta app. Participants may still have to show a physical ID.

United’s program is available to solo travellers aged 18 and above, for now. Delta’s is available to groups, so long as everyone in them has opted in.

TSA has also announced the introduction of face biometrics at Norfolk International Airport in the form of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT2) devices from Idemia I&S.

The agency has expanded its acceptance of mobile driver’s licenses and other forms of digital ID, and intends to go further this year.

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