TSA is Testing Facial Recognition Checkpoints at Airports

New facial recognition checkpoints are currently on trial at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The “self-service” checkpoints will mean that travellers will not have to interact with TSA officers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of handing their IDs to TSA officers, passengers will insert their IDs, driver’s licenses, or passports into scanners. The technology will then automatically authenticate a traveler’s ID, match the live photo with the image on their ID, and confirm their flight information in near real time.

Facial Recognition Checkpoints at Airports Could be the Way Forward

“In light of COVID-19, advanced health and safety precautions have become a top priority and part of the new normal for TSA,” Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “As a result, we are exploring rapid testing and deployment of this touchless, self-service technology.”

TSA check in

The device will also verify the identity of passengers by taking a photo of the traveler and comparing it with the image on their ID. The device will display results for face matching, ID authentication, and flight information to the TSA officer. The officer will be behind an acrylic shield to further minimise contact between the officer and passengers.

The TSA said it won’t save photographs taken as part of the program. The authority says that it will only use the images for identity verification.

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

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