As facial recognition technology use generates intense scrutiny, a new system unveiled at Washington's Dulles airport is being touted as a "user friendly" way to help ease congestion for air travelers.
recognition technology use generates intense scrutiny, a new system unveiled at
Washington's Dulles airport is being touted as a "user friendly" way
to help ease congestion for air travelers.
at Dulles unveiled two new face recognition systems Thursday, one to meet legal
requirements for biometric entry-exit records, and a second to help speed
processing of travelers arriving on international flights by matching their
real-time images with stored photos.
use of facial recognition has ignited debate over surveillance and privacy
around the world, but officials told media this system was
a way to help reducing annoying lines and wait times without compromising
technology works," US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin
McAleenan told reporters at an airport unveiling.
fast, it's user-friendly, it's flexible and it's cost-effective. And we believe
it will change the face of international travel."
officials say the biometric recognition system will allow a traveler's face to
eliminate the need for a boarding pass.
more fumbling with your boarding pass when you have two carry-ons, maybe a kid,
no more trying to find a QR code or trying the refresh your screen,"
In one test
for the system, McAleenan said the boarding 350 passengers for an Airbus A380
aircraft was completed in 20 minutes, or half the normal time.
officials showed how the new systems, operated with iPads mounted on poles,
identified and matched the image of travelers during the boarding process.
for speed, security
is designed to boost security by ensuring that travelers are using their real
passports and not forged documents, matching to existing photos from passports
or images collected from foreign nationals when they enter.
system began operations in mid-August, ahead of the media event, and within
three days was credited with the arrest of a man attempting to use a fake
passport to enter the United States.
26-year-old man traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil sought to enter with a French
passport but the facial comparison biometric system determined he was not a
match to the passport he presented.
A search revealed the man's authentic Republic of Congo identification card
concealed in his shoe.
claim the new systems are being developed only for the boarding and entry
process and not being tied to other databases for law enforcement surveillance.
are not collecting or retaining any new data," McAleenan said.
need to confirm that the party travelers are who they say they are."
one of 14 "early adopter airports" using facial recognition technology for the entry process.
said that because the new system uses only its own images and passport photos,
its accuracy rate is "99 percent."
are not seeing significant difference across gender or race," he added.
system was developed within the agency, part of the Department of Homeland
Security, with unspecified technology partners, according to McAleenan.
activists say there are few safeguards on facial recognition databases used and
that the technology evokes fears of a "Big Brother" surveillance
state, pointing to China, where law enforcement has been aggressively deploying
American Civil Liberties Union has on numerous occasions opposed airport
deployment of facial recognition, claiming problems with
effectiveness and accuracy, among other things.
analyst Jay Stanley warns that the deployment "normalizes face recognition as
a checkpoint technology" and could eventually lead to
seen these technologies spread from airports and now they are used in all kinds
of venues, including in some high schools," Stanley told AFP.
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