Could Facial Recognition Eliminate the Need for Passports?

Supporters of the biometric technology point to the ability to speed up the boarding process and catch potential imposters. Meanwhile, opponents of the technology have voiced privacy concerns.

by Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance / July 17, 2019
Shutterstock/infinity21

(TNS) — Soon boarding an international flight could be as simple as smiling for the camera.

Tampa International Airport is now piloting three different types of biometric face scanning programs on outbound international flights in hopes of ultimately replacing the need to scan your passport.

“Tampa International Airport is on the cutting-edge with this new biometric screening technology,” said guest services director Danny Glennon. “This will make the boarding process faster, and eventually, could be used for inbound flights as well. We can’t wait to see the results.”

Passengers simply walk up to the mounted tablets at the boarding gate kiosks to have their faces scanned and matched to a database.

Once the pilot is complete and the most effective of the three technologies is selected, Tampa International Airport will look to roll out the facial recognition system on all outbound flights.

Currently, less than 10 airports across the country are using biometric face screenings on outbound flights.

Supporters of biometric facial recognition scans point to the technology’s ability to speed up the boarding process and catch potential imposters using fake passports.

Meanwhile, opponents of the technology have voiced privacy concerns in regard to a facial recognition database at the hands of the U.S. government.

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