Facial Recognition Technology Hits Airport TSA

Facial Recognition Technology Hits Airport TSA

(DailyDig.com) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is proceeding with plans to install face recognition technology at airports around the US. Enhancement of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) devices is the goal of the TSA’s partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) research and development.

Security checkpoints at airports will soon include the TSA’s face recognition capabilities, according to a TSA official. At this time, passengers are not required to submit to participate.

The most up-to-date scanners, or CAT-2 devices, use face recognition technology to take photos of passengers and compare them to their ID photos. These scanners will soon be present at more than 400 federal airports, after already being deployed at around 30 airports.

In order to confirm a person’s identity, CAT-2 devices compare scanned photographs to official government IDs before erasing the photos from the scanner. The TSA stresses that, except for restricted testing for effectiveness evaluation, no photographs are maintained after an ID match is positive.

CAT devices do not record any information by default, according to Arun Vemury, a senior identification technology adviser for the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. It does not collect data during the testing phase. Vemury verifies that protocols have been established to specify the types of data that may be sent. After the specified amount of time has passed, the data is permanently deleted, and a destruction certificate is issued.

Despite these safeguards, privacy activists, legislators, and industry experts are worried about the proliferation of face recognition software. In November 2023, a group of senators from both parties, led by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), wrote the Traveler Privacy Protection Act, which would prohibit the TSA from employing face recognition technology. Worries about individuals’ privacy motivated this move. Concerns over the government’s growing dependence on this technology have led to demands for restrictions on its further use.

Privacy groups are concerned that the TSA’s use of face recognition may lead to the government’s wider use of this recognition technology unrelated to air travel.

Copyright 2024, DailyDig.com