Federal facial recognition is coming to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle times reports that “Delta Air Lines, Sea-Tac’s second-largest carrier, is implementing facial recognition to use with international travelers at its gates by year-end.” Or as they describe it: “Delta Air Lines, Sea-Tac’s second-largest carrier, is implementing facial recognition to use with international travelers at its gates by year-end.”
“Instead of fumbling for their passport and boarding pass to get on a plane, all that passengers will need to board a flight will be their face — photographed by Delta and matched with a visa or passport photo on file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP also will start using facial recognition to identify travelers entering the country when Sea-Tac’s new international-arrivals building opens in July.
Eventually, the service could expand to every point in the airport where international travelers would otherwise use a passport or boarding pass: check-in, bag check, security and boarding. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans one day to expand the program to domestic travel, in part by using photographs and other biometric information captured when residents apply for some driver’s licenses.
But before the first cameras are installed at gates, the publicly elected Port of Seattle Commission must decide: Will Sea-Tac embrace the effort to expand facial recognition at Sea-Tac, or resist the growth of the technology?”
“Delta, which has facial-recognition cameras in six airports, says its primary motivation is delivering better customer service by eliminating the need to juggle luggage, passports and boarding passes.
NEC, the company that built CBP’s facial-recognition software, says the technology is faster than manual document checks. As passenger traffic at Sea-Tac continues to grow, shuffling travelers through lines more quickly may be a big sell.”
“But a recent Sea-Tac pilot project found that boarding with facial recognition alone was slower than when travelers scanned their faces and their boarding passes.
Two airlines suspended the pilot program, in part because they said facial recognition was slowing the boarding process, according to emails obtained through a public-disclosure request.
That’s not to say boarding couldn’t speed up going forward.
“If [facial recognition] is not faster and more efficient, there’s no reason to do it,” said Commission President Stephanie Bowman in an interview.”
Full article: Seattle Time