TSA Will Require Your Face Instead of Your Ticket This Summer
The days of crowded lines of people surrounding TSA at the airport are coming to an end. Or so we
The days of crowded lines of people surrounding TSA at the airport are coming to an end. Or so we hope. This summer, TSA is doing the Lord’s work of making security checkpoints more seamless by adding a new piece of technology that will require your face instead of your plane ticket.
Smile! You’re On Camera
TSA will be getting updated ID scanners that now have a biometric camera that uses facial recognition to verify passengers’ identities. So now, instead of your face being your lock and key to just your phone, it’s now your way onto your flight.
Using this new piece of technology, travelers’ facial scans will be matched to the photos on their government issued ID to verify if they are a ticketed airline passenger. The machine can read a multitude of ID types including driver’s licenses, passports, permanent resident cards, U.S. visas, military common access cards, and Global Entry cards.
Christopher Murgia, TSA’s federal security director for Maryland, said in a release, “This technology is valuable because it enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent IDs such as driver’s licenses and passports at a checkpoint and it increases efficiency by automatically verifying a passenger’s identification.”
And, for those wondering, the photos taken from the facial scans are only used to be compared to travelers’ picture IDs and for no other purpose, according to the TSA.
Coming To An Airport Near You
The new machines are noted to be self-service so all you will need to do is insert your ID and look at the camera. Once your identity is verified, you will proceed to the security checkpoint. Ultimately, the officer at the podium has the final approval however when the system works correctly, there is little to no interaction with the TSA agent on duty.
Ultimately, these small moments of time being saved per person should add up and create smoother and quicker operations at security.
Initially, the new system was trialed in the fall of 2020 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington D.C. to minimize touchpoints during the pandemic. This was only open to travelers with TSA PreCheck who chose to volunteer but, as of this summer they will be accessible to everyone (and still voluntary).
Baltimore-Washington International Airport is among the first of many facilities in the country to install the credential authentication technology (CAT). The TSA has reportedly invested $128 million in rolling out 1,500 of the new scanners at 16 airports around the country and that number is expected to grow rapidly.