Technology

30 July 2020
Face Recognition Systems at Airports

Face recognition systems used in many areas of our lives from mobile phones to elevators are currently being used in airports. To save time in passport checks and flight doors, cameras take photos via Biometric technology, enabling us to complete passport checks much quicker. British Airlines and Delta Airlines already started using this technology and soon enough, the whole world is expected to do the same. This system aims to ensure a paperless and a completely digital flight experience.

Biometric technology uses the characteristic features on your face and scan you like the fingerprint reader on your phone. Face recognition systems use pupil scanning, fingerprint readers and face recognition. The system has been used in domestic flights in the UK countries for many years, but now they are also using it in international flights. 

The system is becoming rather popular in the USA and it is seen that 72% of Delta Airways passengers love the system and think the system saves a lot of time. 2% of the passengers refused to use the system, stating that they are impartial about it. The traditional system was applied to those passengers and their passports were checked by airport employees. 

The accuracy of the system is debatable. On average, the system provides over 97% of face match. A good light, and a direct and straight angle of the passenger to the camera are required for the best match. According to US Customs and Border Protection, this is not a surveillance system and nor should it be perceived as one. Data is not kept somewhere and is not shared with anyone, including the FBI. Photographs are kept in the system for 72 hours and then automatically deleted. The main goal of this system is to be able to determine who was on the flight if a problem occurs and to improve the flight experience as much as possible. 

In one of its most recent flights, Delta Airlines started boarding 60 minutes before flight time, while in Flight 295, all passengers were checked and boarded within 35 minutes, which is about 10 minutes faster. 

Some passengers still have questions about privacy, data security, legibility, and accuracy. Local Security Committee President Bennie G. Thompson said that people deserved to know more and that he will publish a speech that included the answers to these questions.