Facial Recognition introduced at Washington’s Airport

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As facial recognition technology’s use promises intense security, a new system introduced at Washington’s Dulles airport. It is being called a “user-friendly” way to help ease congestion for air travellers.

Officials at Dulles unveiled two new facial recognition systems, one to meet legal requirements for biometric entry-exit records. And another to help speed processing of travellers arriving on international flights. By matching their real-time images with stored photos.

The growing use of facial recognition has ignited debate over surveillance. And privacy around the world, but officials told media this system paved a way to help to reduce annoying lines. And wait times without compromising security.

“The technology works,” US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters at an airport unveiling.

“It’s fast, it’s user-friendly, it’s flexible and it’s cost-effective. And we believe it will change the face of international travel.”

Over time, officials say biometric recognition system will allow traveller’s face to eliminate the need for boarding pass.

“No more fumbling with your boarding pass when you have two carry-ons, maybe a kid, no more trying to find a QR code or trying the refresh your screen,” McAleenan said.

Even more, In one test for the system, McAleenan said the boarding 350 passengers for an Airbus A380 aircraft completed in 20 minutes or half the normal time.

At Dulles, officials showed how the new systems, operated with iPads mounted on poles. Identified and matched the image of travellers during the boarding process.

The system designed to boost security by ensuring that travellers are using their real passports and not forged documents, matching to existing photos from passports or images collected from foreign nationals when they enter.

As a result, the Dulles system began operations in mid-August, ahead of the media event, and within three days, credited with the arrest of a man attempting to use a fake passport to enter the United States.

The 26-year-old man travelling from Sao Paulo, Brazil sought to enter with a French passport. The facial comparison biometric system caught the error as he was not a match to the passport he presented.

Also, the search revealed the man’s authentic Republic of Congo identification card concealed in his shoe.

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