The Indian government plans to decongest its airports by introducing facial recognition technology next year - a proposal that may once again raise privacy concerns in the South Asian country. India's ministry of civil aviation on Thursday said passengers on domestic flights will be able to choose to use their biometric authentication system and go paperless. "Security will benefit from the ability of the technology to verify the passenger at every checkpoint in a non-intrusive way," ministry secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said in a statement. The proposal says passengers would be verified by being photographed at every stage of the check-in process - from entering the airport to proceeding through security and boarding the plane. The India government statement said the biometric technology will be introduced first at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports by February next year, followed by Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada by April.
Delta Air Lines will implement facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport from Friday, with cameras identifying passengers at a boarding gate with more to be installed after. The move has been met with controversy however, as groups such as Greenpeace call for a federal banning of the technology by law enforcement agencies. Critics say the technology could be used to violate privacy and date, as well as pointing to issues with accuracy for non-white male subjects. A spokeswoman for the coalition of groups, which also includes MoveOn and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the groups also oppose the use of the technology by airlines. 'There is no real oversight for how a private corporation can use our biometric information once they've collected it,' said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future.
Passengers use facial recognition scanners before boarding a British Airways flight in Orlando, Fla. Brian Naylor/NPR hide caption The use of facial scanning is becoming commonplace -- maybe you've heard of the new iPhone? At the Orlando International Airport, Britain-bound passengers -- some wearing Mickey Mouse T-shirts and other Disney paraphernalia -- lined up at Gate 80 recently for the evening British Airways flight to London's Gatwick Airport. It looks like any other airport departure area, except for the two small gates with what look like small boxes on posts next to them. Those boxes are actually cameras. They were installed earlier this month by SITA, the Geneva-based company that develops information technology for the world's airlines, in conjunction with British Airways and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.
Many airports hope to start using biometric scanners in lieu of passports to identify travelers. Buzz60's Tony Spitz has the details. The next time you go to the airport you might notice something different as part of the security process: A machine scanning your face to verify your identity. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working with airlines to implement biometric face scanners in domestic airports to better streamline security. But how does the process work?
Last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out a notice, saying it was looking for a facial recognition system that could work with images taken of people inside their cars. The idea was that such a system could be used to scan people entering and leaving the country through the US/Mexico border and match them to government documents like passports and visas. Now, The Verge reports that DHS will be launching a test of a system aiming to do just that. The Vehicle Face System, as it's called, is scheduled for an initial deployment in August and it will be installed at the Anzalduas border crossing. The test will take place over one year and will aim to take images of passengers in every car that enters or leaves the US through the crossing.