TSA to expand facial recognition across America

America’s Transport Security Administration, better known as the TSA, has been testing facial recognition software to automatically screen passengers flying across the country in 16 airports. And now it’s looking into rolling it out nationwide next year.

Flyers will be able to pass through security checkpoints by scanning a copy of a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license stored on their mobile phones, and standing in front of a camera system. The equipment will snap a live photo of their face and check whether it matches with the one captured on their ID.

The pilot program, testing the Credential Authentication Technology 2 (CAT-2) system, aims to reduce security screening wait times by automating the process so TSA agents do not need to manually check IDs. Staff are still on standby, however, for final verification. 

Experts are concerned the technology might be risky to use, considering previous research has shown facial recognition algorithms can be less accurate when identifying women and people with darker skin. Travelers could be unfairly singled out for further checks due to the technology’s inaccuracies.

“TSA is exploring the use of one to one and one to few facial identification to automate identity verification at airport checkpoints and modernize the screening experience for passengers,” a spokesperson from the agency told The Register in a statement.

“Biometric technology has the potential to enhance security effectiveness, improve operational efficiency, and yield a more streamlined passenger experience at the TSA checkpoint. TSA recognizes that biometric solutions must be highly

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