BALTIMORE — A passenger walks as much as an airport safety checkpoint, slips an ID card right into a slot and appears right into a digital camera atop a small display screen. The display screen flashes “Photo Complete” and the particular person walks by means of — all with out having at hand over identification to the TSA officer sitting behind the display screen.
It’s all a part of a pilot challenge by the Transportation Security Administration to evaluate using facial recognition expertise at a lot of airports throughout the nation.
“What we are trying to do with this is aid the officers to actually determine that you are who you say who you are,” mentioned Jason Lim, id administration capabilities supervisor, throughout an indication at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
The expertise is presently in 16 airports. In addition to Baltimore, it’s being utilized in Boston, at Reagan National close to Washington, D.C., and airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Jose. However, it’s not at each TSA checkpoint so not each traveler going by means of these airports would essentially expertise it.
Travelers put their driver’s license right into a slot that reads the cardboard or place their passport picture in opposition to a card reader. Then they have a look at a digital camera on a display screen concerning the measurement of an iPad, which captures their picture and compares it to their ID. The expertise is each checking to ensure the individuals on the airport match the ID they current and that the identification is in reality actual. A TSA officer continues to be there and indicators off on the screening.
A small signal alerts vacationers that their picture will likely be taken as a part of the pilot and that they will choose out in the event that they’d like
Since it’s come out the pilot has come beneath scrutiny by elected officers and privateness advocates. In a February letter to TSA, 5 senators — 4 Democrats and an Independent who’s a part of the Democratic caucus — demanded the company cease this system, saying: “Increasing biometric surveillance of Americans by the government represents a risk to civil liberties and privacy rights.”
Jeramie Scott, with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, mentioned that whereas it’s voluntary now it won’t be for lengthy. He famous that David Pekoske, who heads TSA, mentioned throughout a chat in April that finally using biometrics could be required as a result of they’re simpler and environment friendly, though he gave no timeline.
Lim mentioned the photographs aren’t being compiled right into a database, and that images and IDs are deleted. Since that is an evaluation, in restricted circumstances some information is collected and shared with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate. TSA says that information is deleted after 24 months.
“We take these privacy concerns and civil rights concerns very seriously, because we touch so many people every day,” he mentioned.