Imagine using technology that never forgets a face, while improving airport security and shortening lines. Such technology exists and may be coming to an airport near you.
Every flyer over the past two decades knows that airport security procedures involve a lot of unpacking, screening and repacking. This is the price that must be paid for using commercial air travel.
Yet, it does not need to be this way, and the Transportation Security Administration has the right idea in testing and deploying biometrics such as facial identification technology at airport security checkpoints.
Although travelers believe that the most important task undertaken by the TSA is detecting threat items, the true role of airport security screening is ensuring that you are the person you claim to be.
The TSA has been working on moving more passengers from “unknown” to “known” status for more than a decade. The first effort in this regard was the introduction of TSA PreCheck in 2011, which gives travelers the privilege (for a fee) of accessing expedited screening lanes. This means that your shoes can stay on, your computers and electronics can stay in your carry-on bag, and light outerwear can remain in place.
Facial identification technology ensures that you are who you claim to be. When presenting yourself at a checkpoint, your face becomes your entry pass, based on a repository of pictures that you have voluntarily provided in the past. These pictures are assembled from passports or visas.
Another technology the TSA has deployed to enhance identity verification is Credential Authentication Technology. This, in concert with REAL IDs, which regrettably have been delayed until 2025, as a requirement for