Airports to Test Facial Recognition Software

Airports to Test Facial Recognition Software

Facial recognition software illustration

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The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made plans to launch a facial recognition software pilot at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The TSA intend to test how the technology verifies traveler’s facial images with pictures taken from their passports and identity documents. 

TSA officials mention that the facial recognition software will save TSA personnel time, allowing them to invest more of their time into more critical tasks. The software also reduces wait times and also increases the TSA’s effectiveness by improving their ability to detect imposters.

The facial recognition program is only for passengers that opt into the program, however the TSA plans to use biometrics to identify over 97% of travelers flying abroad by 2022.

For the pilot, the TSA will use Credential Authentication Technology to make sure passenger’s documents are authentic. The technology will also collect the passenger’s information and image along with live images of his or her face. At the end of the day, the pilot is to test that biometrics work for verifying passengers. mentions that the agency ultimately plans to collect live photos of passengers, their identification document information, travel dates, the organizations that issued the identification documents, passenger’s birth year and gender. The TSA claims that the data will be kept secure and hidden to the highest extent possible.

The agency plans to transfer the data daily to the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate personnel and they claim that the data will only be used for the purpose of the pilot.

The TSA believe that facial recognition software will significantly increase passenger security, satisfaction, and time to gate. The pilot will help the agency decide what the next steps are for improving automation at airport security checkpoints.