recommended reading

Soon, You Will Never Lose Your Boarding Pass Because it Will Be Your Face

Travelers walk past an airline reader board Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at Logan International Airport, in Boston.

Travelers walk past an airline reader board Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at Logan International Airport, in Boston. // Steven Senne/AP

Airports around the world are rolling out facial-recognition technology in an attempt to improve security and reduce the painful boarding process.

Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport is testing facial recognition technology made by Portuguese firm Vision-Box, Bloomberg reported this week. Wait times to enter the country jumped in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice, as security officials were required to conduct deeper security checks on arriving passengers.

Japan last year said it was planning to use similar technology.

KLM is conducting a three-month trial of facial-scanning technology at the Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Passengers must register at a kiosk near the gate to participate by scanning their passports, boarding passes, and, of course, their faces. Three-dimensional facial recognition scans measure dozens of features such as jawline and distance between the eyes.

In Europe, all EU citizens with biometric passports can use special “ePassport” gates at major airports to get through border control, such as these in the U.K., which are also open to citizens of other countries like the U.S. and Canada who register in advance:

That kind of technology also exists in places like Singapore and Hong Kong, but has not extended to other parts of the airport experience as of yet. The boarding pass has already shifted to mobile wallets and smartwatches over the past few years.

In the U.S., Global Entry patrons enter via booths that check people’s identities against biometric data. Private biometric screening company Clear also scans a passenger’s fingerprint or iris with speedy lanes available at 20 airports across the U.S., and Clear says it plans to expand to two others in the coming weeks. Passengers still have to go through security screening but enter through a dedicated aisle. The company said it has 700,000 members.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov