DFW Airport Unveils Facial Recognition

DFW Airport Unveils Facial Recognition
A traveler scans her face and boarding pass to clear the TSA’s ID check station | Image by Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

American Airlines announced on Wednesday that PreCheck would be equipped with facial recognition scanners at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Customers can use a phone app to navigate through instead of displaying a driver’s license or passport.

They intend to expand the test to airports in Miami, Phoenix, and Washington D.C., over the year. Currently, they are advertising the service as a convenience factor, although privacy experts have been concerned about the use of personal information.

According to AP News, more than 10 million people are enrolled in PreCheck, and TSA wants to raise that to 25 million. Congress directed TSA to expand its use of private vendors when gathering information from PreCheck Applicants.

Clear Secure, a biometric technology company, is unveiling a bundled offering with PreCheck enrollment and its identity verification services.

The Director of federal affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed concern, stating, “They are really trying to increase their market share by collecting quite a lot of very sensitive data on as many people as they can get their hands on. That strikes a lot of alarm bells for me”

American Airlines announced that they believe the updates will enhance travel for customers coming through the DFW terminal. Their new mobile ID feature is usable by anyone with a mobile phone, TSA PreCheck membership, and an AAdvantage number.

Julie Rath, vice president of customer experience at American, said, “we’re helping our customers exchange stress for convenience and saved time, and propelling the travel industry further along the path to a truly seamless customer experience.”

Customers can join the new program by following a few simple steps. First, they must sign up for TSA PreCheck if they have not already. Then, they must download Airside’s Digital Identity App for iOS or Android devices. Afterward, they must take a photo of their face and upload a driver’s license or passport to the app. Finally, the customer must input their American Airlines AAdvantage number.

After completing these steps, the app verifies the customer’s info with technology from Thales. This tech browses DMV and passport records, and the customer’s private information is stored in the app.

Someone can pass through security and display a QR code to streamline the check-in process. TSA’s computer system matches it with an encrypted image. Typically, the entire process takes fewer than five seconds to complete.

Digital ID saw its first test run in 2021 when used for touchless bag drops and Admirals Club entry at DFW. Participating customers could use facial recognition instead of presenting a government-issued ID or boarding pass to check bags or enter the lounge.

In addition, American Airlines travelers can already verify their identity via facial recognition at several international boarding gates. Similarly, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways have implemented biometric technology for boarding at some airports.

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