If you’re old enough, you might remember when going through airports was a breeze compared to today’s enhanced passenger and baggage screening procedures. Back then, you didn’t have to worry about full-body scanners, passenger and carry-on luggage checks, or the other airport security protocols that are now in place. It’s way different from how things are now.
Get ready for possibly even more security upgrades in the future if the TSA has its way. The Transportation Security Administration is testing out its new facial recognition technology at a number of airports throughout the country. This tech identifies and verifies individuals on their unique features.
With this new process, your ID would still be placed into the card reader, and then the TSA agent would take a picture of your face in real-time. That picture will be processed to see if it matches the picture on your driver’s license. The agent will then approve the screening once the picture is verified.
The TSA is using facial recognition technology to verify the photo on their I.D. ( )
When asked about how the trials were going thus far, the TSA stated, “the TSA has grounded the tests in scientific rigor and early results are promising across all demographics with a small sample, so TSA is expanding the sample size for statistical validity.”
- BWI-Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- DCA-Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- ATL-Hartsfield International Airport
- DFW-Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
- PHX-Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- DEN-Denver International Airport
- SLC-Salt Lake City International Airport
- SJC-San José Mineta International Airport
- GPT-Gulfport Biloxi International Airport
- JAN-Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport
- MIA-Miami International Airport
- LAS-Harry Reid International Airport
- LAX-Los Angeles International Airport
- BOS-Boston Logan International Airport
- DTW-Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- MCO-Orlando International Airport
- OKC-Will Rogers World Airport
- CID-Cedar Rapids airport
- SFO-San Francisco International Airport
- RIC-Richmond International Airport
- BNA-Nashville International Airport
- SJU-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
- MSY-Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
- HNL-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
- CVG-Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Do I have to participate in this trial?
No, you do not have to participate. According to the TSA, the trial is completely voluntary, and you can refuse to have your photo taken by telling an officer at the Travel Document Checker podium. In my experience, there is no sign or active notice during numerous TSA screenings letting you know it’s optional to have your face scanned. The TSA also states that this will not cause the passenger any delay, and they will not face any consequences for not participating.
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What do I do if I’m asked to participate?
Remember, whether the TSA agent at the airport tells you or not, you have the right to refuse to go through the facial recognition technology trial. If the whole idea doesn’t sit right with you, simply let the agent know that you will not participate, as they cannot penalize you for not wanting to be part of it.
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