Whether you like it or not, facial recognition to check your flight will soon arrive at an airport near you.
More than a dozen US airports are already implementing this technology, and there are many other airports to go before the US government achieves its goal of registering the country's top 20 airports by 2021.
Face recognition is highly controversial and has many divisions. On the one hand, it reduces paper tickets and is meant to be easier for travelers to check in at the airport before their trip. But face recognition also has technical problems. According to the Internal Security Agency, facial recognition systems are used at airports Only worked at 85 percent in some cases. The Department of Homeland Security said the system was improving over time and would be zero by the 2021 deadline – even if the IAEA had its doubts.
Many remain fearful of privacy and legal concerns. After all, the CBP does not collect face recognition data directly – it's airlines – and transfers it to the government.
Delta for the first time Technology Last year, the faces were cleared before the passengers fly. JetBlue also A subsidiary claimMany airlines are expected to participate. This data is used to check boarding passes before passengers arrive at their gate. But also passed to the Customs and Border Protection to examine passengers against their watch lists – and to suppress those who exceeded their visas.
Obviously this bothers travelers. in a Twitter exchange recently With JetBlue, the airline said customers "are able to unsubscribe from this procedure."
This is technically true, although you may not know if you are in one of the many American airports. The Electronic Frontier Foundation found it It's not easy to unsubscribe But this is possible.
If you are a US citizen, you can unsubscribe by telling an employee or airline officer at the time of the face recognition check. You'll need your US passport with you – even if you're traveling locally. Border officials or airline personnel will manually check your passport or boarding pass in the usual way before you fly.
Watch out for any signs that you can unsubscribe, but also keep in mind that there may not be anything at all. You may have to withdraw several times from the airport until you reach the plane seat.
"It may sound trite, but now the key to not recognizing faces is to be cautious," wrote Jason Kelly of EFF.
Bad News If you are not an American: You will not be allowed to unsubscribe.
"Once the biometric exit program is a consistent national program, foreign nationals will be required to confirm their exit from the United States in the end [boarding] "Said CBP spokeswoman Jennifer Jabris in a previous e-mail to TechCrunch. "It has been, and continues to be, a mandate for Congress," she said.
There Some exceptions, Such as Canadian citizens who do not need a visa to enter the United States are exempted, diplomatic and government visa holders.
Face recognition data collected by airlines on US citizens by Customs and Border Protection is stored for 12 hours, two weeks and 75 years for non-nationals. This data is stored in many government databases, which Border administrators can pull up When you arrive or leave the United States
Why should you withdraw? As an American, you have the right to refuse. The Department of Homeland Security once said that Americans who do not want to wipe their faces at the airport Must refrain from traveling. Now all it takes is "No thanks".