FLYING FROM U.S.? YOUR FACE WILL BE SCANNED & RUN THROUGH BIO-METRIC DATABASE. No Opt Out!

The US government has rolled out a plan to reshape airport security around facial recognition, playing off a wealth of passport photos and visa applications.

Led by Customs and Border Protection, the plan is built around the Biometric Exit program, which will register visitors leaving the US using facial recognition. But new statements show that CBP’s plans could make facial scans necessary for US citizens as well, documenting them when they reenter the country or pass through TSA checkpoints. The result would eventually grow into an airport-wide system Customs officials call “The Biometric Pathway.”

John Wagner, deputy assistant commissioner at CBP, laid out that vision at the ConnectID conference last week. “We’re going to build this for [Biometric] Exit. We’re out of time, we have to,” Wagner told the crowd. “But why not make this available to everyone? Why not look to drive the innovation across the entire airport experience?”

The Exit program is currently verifying passengers on a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo, and is set to roll out in seven new airports over the summer. Expanding it beyond departure gates will depend on partner agencies, particularly the TSA — but there’s already a significant appetite for using facial recognition in other parts of the airport. Already a partner in the Atlanta test, Delta has shown early interest in the system, seeing it as an opportunity to improve customers’ airport experiences. According to Delta Customer Initiatives chief Christian Revilla, who also spoke at ConnectID, airport biometrics are one of the four chief priorities set by the company’s CEO for the coming year.

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Reached by The Verge, Customs confirmed that it was seeking partnerships to expand the reach of the proposed system. “We are working closely with stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of biometric exit and exploring potential for inbound arrivals and other processes,” an agency representative said. “We simply want to open the dialogue to others outside of CBP.” For critics, that could make the automated risk assessments even more harmful. EPIC’s Jeremie Scott, who is currently working on a lawsuit to force Customs to release more information about the algorithm, says Customs should make the system more transparent before it makes it more powerful. “If an individual keeps getting put into a high-risk line because of AFI, they’ll have no idea why and no real recourse. It’s just being done by this algorithm in the background,” Scott told The Verge. “It poses a large risk of flagging people who shouldn’t really be in that line.” Traveling through the world’s airports has never been simple. Just this week, the Trump Administration announced a new procedure in which visa applicants must provide years worth of social media history, among other hassles. But a new technology may help get passengers on their way more quickly, and maybe even reduce stress if it works properly and passengers are ok with its privacy implications. JetBlue announced a plan to use the face scanning technology in lieu of traditional boarding passes. The airline is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport.

Here’s how it works. When you’re in line to board the flight, your face will be scanned and compared to the photo on your passport.

Executive vice president customer experience at JetBlue, Joanna Geraghty, recently broke down the procedure for better understanding. travel traveling usa flight “flight ticket” u.s. america photo biometrics “bio metrics” face “face scan” airport “airport transfer” 2017 american plan privacy private data database launch tech technology “jet blue” boarding passport visa “USA Visa” international secure security track tracking GPS “u.s. citizen” law lawyer “air travel” surveillance “facial recognition” “flight insurance” “travel insurance” holiday vacation “summer holiday” “winter sun” holidays “We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve. Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way,”said Geraghty.

The plan is to use this technology for all passengers, not just foreign travelers with a passport and visa, in America in the future.

JetBlue isn’t the first to incorporate facial recognition technology. Delta is adding the strategy to the way it is handling bag checking. Travelers who wish to check bags will print tags at Delta kiosks before heading over to machines that match them with their passport photos using identification verification.

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