TSA plans to roll out facial recognition tech at U.S. airports

The Transportation Security Administration plans to expand its facial recognition recognition system to airports across the U.S. next year, according to reports.

According to The Washington Post, the technology cross-references live photos of travelers at airports with images on their driver’s license or state ID to unambiguously identify the person.


The identification system, known as Credential Authentication Technology with Cameras (CAT-2), was first implemented at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport near Washington, D.C., and expanded to 16 domestic U.S. airports, including facilities in Dallas, Los Angeles and Orlando .

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“This technology is definitely a security enhancement,” TSA official Jason Lim told The Washington Post. “So far, we’ve been very pleased with the machine’s ability to do facial recognition accurately.”

To use facial recognition technology, travelers entering an airport equipped with the system will walk up to a machine, insert their ID card and have their face scanned. The device will confirm that the person being checked is who it is on the ID card, potentially eliminating the need for TSA agents to manually check each traveler’s identity.

While the technology is being implemented at airports to speed up the screening process, it is an optional system. Travelers concerned about their information being stored or data compromised can opt for the standard TSA screening process.

“None of these facial recognition technologies are mandatory,” Lin continued. “Those who feel unwell will still need to show their ID, but they can tell the police they don’t want to be photographed and the officers will then turn off the live cameras.”

Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines debuted PARALLEL REALITY beta testing for travelers, allowing up to 100 customers to simultaneously see personalized content tailored to their journey on a single digital screen.

Travelers who choose the experience see customized flight and wayfinding information, and each viewer gets a personalized experience, even if they’re standing next to dozens of other travelers experiencing their own custom content.

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