The TSA Plans to Use More Biometrics at Airport Security Checkpoints

  • Skift Take
    We hear good things about the reliability of facial scans at airports with one exception. JetBlue Airways reports that the system in place at its terminals is not as effective with the oldest travelers as it is with everyone else.

    Someday soon you may not have to show a driver’s license or passport at the airport security lane in the U.S.

    The Transportation Security Administration on Monday unveiled a multistep plan to make increased use of facial recognition and other biometric identification tools to improve accuracy and speed wait times.

    TSA, which has tested biometric systems in Los Angeles and Atlanta, will start using the technology on international travelers entering and leaving the U.S. and then expand to tests on domestic passengers enrolled in the agency’s PreCheck program, according to a 23-page report outlining TSA’s plans.

    “With the threat to aviation evolving every day, developing the next generation of security technology with our industry partners is critically important,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a press release.

    TSA is following on the heels of Customs and Border Protection, which is boosting its use of facial recognition for people entering the U.S.

    Airline passengers must show proof of identification before entering a TSA screening lane along with their boarding pass. This allows TSA to check names against terrorist watch lists and verify identities of passengers.

    Using facial-recognition software or fingerprints would replace those manual checks and are seen as less prone to fraud. The technology is also being evaluated by airlines, such as Delta Air Lines Inc., which announced in September it is building a biometric terminal in Atlanta so passengers can check in for flights without having traditional IDs.

    The TSA hasn’t proposed widespread facial recognition scans of crowds at airports. The agency is also taking steps to protect people’s privacy and won’t allow use of the data for purposes other than its mission unless individuals consent, the agency said in its road map.

    ©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

    This article was written by Alan Levin from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

    Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines has been testing biometric boarding in Washington, D.C. The TSA is likely to switch to biometrics at security screening. Delta Air Lines
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