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?
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) evidently doesn't need Congress to begin using facial recognition of United States citizens. Officials at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and Logan International Airport in Boston earlier this week began to scan faces of U.S. citizens and other passengers on specific flights. Congress has nine times passed legislation authorizing the use of biometric technology on non-U.S. "It's disconcerting," said Harrison Rudolph, a law fellow at Georgetown University who focuses on the intersection of technology and legal policy. "There's reason to think this rollout is only just beginning, and that more airports are going to start deploying, or more airlines are going to be deploying facial recognition at the boarding gate."