Facial recognition is banned-but it is still everywhere

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Since 2018, Delta Air Lines has partnered with CBP to provide international passengers departing from Atlanta with the option of using facial recognition instead of traditional documents to check in and pass security. In 2019, 86% of the airline’s Atlanta international flights used facial recognition technology when boarding; due to changes in the boarding process, this proportion declined during the pandemic, but now accounts for more than 60% of international flights , And it’s still rising. Delta Air Lines recently expanded the program to allow TSA Precheck domestic passengers departing from Atlanta to use only their facial recognition from check-in to boarding. The airline teamed up with the Transportation Security Administration, CBP, and travel security company Pangiam to establish the new system, and plans to roll out the system at other airports starting in Detroit.

Ranjan Goswami, senior vice president of customer experience at Delta Air Lines, said that Atlanta’s new process makes it easier for passengers to travel and is a “blueprint for the future.” Goswami said the plan is voluntary and Delta will not save or store any biometric data.

Earlier this year, Pangiam executive Shaun Moore (Shaun Moore), who joined his face recognition startup Trueface when it acquired his face recognition startup, said that controversy over the use of the technology by the police may obscure its expertise in other areas. value. “It’s a bit unfair to this industry,” he said. “Although the discussion surrounding the use of regulation by law enforcement is beginning to falter, we are focusing on areas where there is less attention, less risk, and people feel comfortable.”

Moore said Pangiam does not provide its technology to law enforcement agencies, and he supports the regulation of such uses. The Air Force also uses Pangiam’s technology to speed up identity checks at the base’s entrance, and Everest, a cryptocurrency exchange, uses it to register new customers.

Financial companies have also shown interest in facial recognition to speed up identity checks. Incode, an identity verification startup based in San Francisco, said its facial recognition checked more than 140 million identities in 2021, roughly four times the sum of the previous three years. The company’s clients include HSBC and Citigroup, and it recently raised $220 million in funding from investors such as JPMorgan Chase.

Caitlin Seeley George, campaign director of the non-profit organization “Fight for the Future”, found that the popularity of facial recognition in airports and other areas of daily life is worrying. “We need to ban all facial recognition, because the harm of this technology far outweighs any benefits,” she said.

George believes that the seemingly benign or cautious use of this technology is dangerous because they help regulate the collection of personal and biometric data that may be hacked or exploited. “The more places people see, the more comfortable they will feel,” she said. “When we do things for convenience, we may not consider all the effects.”

At the same time, George is optimistic about curbing face recognition. She pointed to Facebook’s decision to shut down its tagging system, the spread of local bans, and legislation this year introduced to both houses of Congress by a group of Democratic lawmakers and Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) that would prohibit the use of facial recognition technology. Federal agency. A similar bill was proposed in 2020, but no vote was taken.


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