TSA Using Facial Recognition Technology to Speed Up Airport Wait Times

TSA Using Facial Recognition Technology to Speed Up Airport Wait Times

by Donald Wood
Last updated: 9:15 AM ET, Mon May 15, 2023

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues
to work on a pilot program for facial recognition technology at several major
airports throughout the United States.

According to The
Associated Press
, the technology test programs are part of an effort by TSA
officials to enhance security and streamline procedures as demand continues to
surge post-pandemic.

The facial recognition technology systems can be found in 16
airports, including in major cities like Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Orlando
and more, and the program is voluntary and accurate, according to the TSA.

Travelers entering participating airports will be asked to
walk up to a security checkpoint, insert their photo ID card into the machine
and look into a small camera. A TSA officer will verify the data is correct and
passengers can move through the checkpoint faster than normal, a much-needed
change for an agency that screens 2.4 million passengers daily.

TSA officials said the pilot program has yielded positive
results so far and no major issues of discrimination based on age, gender, race
or ethnicity have been reported. Some elected officials and privacy advocates continue
to question the technology and how the data obtained is secured.

“We take these privacy concerns and civil rights concerns
very seriously, because we touch so many people every day,” identity management
capabilities manager Jason Lim told The AP.

TSA head David Pekoske said in April that the programs are
likely to become required for all travelers, as they’re more effective and
efficient, but no timetable was provided. The decision to speed up the testing
process was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the move to touchless technology
was accelerated.

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