Many people desire to discover the world trough travel. With many wish lists on deck, they populate the airports each and everyday, and leaving the security officers with so much work to do. However for a better security protocol, facial recognition is now being implemented at U.S. airports. In fact, that’s a machine scanning your face for identity verification, as part of the security system.

The implementation of the bio-metric face scanners began when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and some airline companies began to work together. The intention is obtaining advanced streamline security, by placing facial recognition machines in airports around the States, USA Today stated.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection security check
U.S. Customs and Border Protection security check (source: CBP)

But now many US citizens are questioning themselves, how does everything work? Which airlines and airports are doing this security check?

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest technological advances in airport screenings, from the government’s work to privacy concerns and more.

The process of facial screening

Facial recognition technology is being used by the US government, with an aim to improve efficiency when travelers enter and exit the U.S.

Besides the government eye and fingertip scanning done by CLEAR, this is something new, which will replace the manual passport check nationwide. As a matter of fact, the face screening is already successful in stopping people entering illegaly in the States.

The work of facial recognition software
The work of facial recognition software

The flow of the process explained:

  • Cameras take a photo of you,
  • The photo taken is being matched with the one of you at the Department of Homeland Security (passport image),
  • Either you are granted to go or not.

The origin of the idea

Facial recognition on smartphones
Facial recognition on smartphones

The 9/11 event in 2001 triggered the implementation of the entry-exit scanning. However, it wasn’t until in 2017 when a Trump’s signature ordered a full roll-out of the idea, and became a government’s method of choice. With the implementation of face screening, CBP explains that with this kind of technology, the border security will get better and accurate.

The quick verification of travelers identities is the main priority of this idea. However, with pre-built photo galleries from flight manifests, the face of the passenger will be checked quicker, as soon as it has been scanned. The photos made from these scanners will be deleted, after an 12 hour post-verification.

Should you be concerned about my privacy risked?

It’s dependable. The privacy impact assessments have been done efficiently, at the same time consulting privacy advocates.

However, with this easy method of creating a digital identity of people, the government can easily track them. You won’t even know it, and still there is no regulation of preventing that. In fact, many human-rights oriented organisations are against CBP’s facial recognition program, because they can monitor everywhere you go.

Involvement

Besides the CBP and the Government, TSA is involved too, as a part of the security checkpoint pilot program in Atlanta’s Terminal F. Not to forget, that TSA with the help of Delta Air Lines, is applying the bio-metric identification of the airline’s bag drop.

However, United Airlines on airports in Houston, Washington and San Francisco has been testing the facial recognition.Their involvement with CLEAR is for implementing bio-metric security option across its hub airports.

The self-boarding option, developed by JetBlue Airways is available on international flights from JFK and Fort Lauderdale airport. However, the fully implemented tech by JetBlue Airways has been ON since June 2017, with their first ‘pilot’ boarding’s. Since then, they have refined the technology, making it an essential part of their day-to-day operations.

However, the fully implemented tech by JetBlue Airways has been ON since June 2017, with their first ‘pilot’ boarding’s. Since then, they have refined the technology, making it an essential part of their day-to-day operations.

The TSA’s future goals are, expanding the program to TSA PreCheck passenger, with more future plans here.