PCP: Facial recognition technology raises privacy issues for travelers

May 14, 2019

Facial recognition will improve overall experience at airports

New technology reduces wait time, provides security

Allowing passengers to check themselves in with facial recognition technology will significantly reduce wait times and make passengers’ trip to the airport much more efficient. The new technology could eliminate the use of document checks and boarding passes, which would also have a positive impact on the environment.

This technology will add an additional layer of security to protect everyone at the airport. This technology is not an invasion of privacy — our pictures are taken everywhere without us knowing and our information is easily accessed by various large companies. The use of facial recognition should not cause concern for privacy invasion because it is being used in order to protect people. The Department of Homeland Security gives the Customs and Border Protection database access to perform background checks on passengers flying in order to prevent security threats.

People are often racially profiled in airports, especially people of Middle Eastern descent who are often stereotyped as terrorists.

According to The Guardian, ethnic minorities are 42 percent more likely to be stopped by airport security personal than white people.

As a result of racial profiling, people of Middle Eastern descent need to add in extra time to their trip to the airport to ensure they don’t miss their flight.

This technology could reduce racial profiling from airport staff. The use of facial recognition technology in airports will reduce the wait time of all passengers, provide an extra safety precaution and possibly reduce the amount of racial profiling in airports.

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New technology invades privacy, requires proper consent

Easy system for airlines seems too good to be true

Consent is not being given for JetBlue’s facial recognition and privacy is being invaded.

Airline JetBlue uses facial recognition which passengers can opt-out of this step but even so, they are still in the airline company’s system. Using the data in this system without passengers consent is a complete misstep.

The Department of Homeland Security gives the Customs and Border Protection database access to photos of anyone.

Who has applied for a US passport or visa or anyone who has interacted with Customs and Border Protection in the past according to Travel and Leisure.

JetBlue claims that it has no access to the photos or information used in this process.

Some passengers are worried about the process invading their privacy. Even if the passenger wanted to opt-out of the facial recognition step, their information would already have been passed on without consent.

In doing so this not only violates privacy, but also creates a break in trust between the company and potential flyers.

Facial recognition is already being used on some cell phones, but that is a more private use of the software.

Although people may speculate phone companies then have access to facial information, many have come out and said your information will never leave your device without your permission, according to Apple’s privacy policies. 

While facial recognition may begin to revolutionize other industries, air travel should stay away from it unless the passengers have given consent to have their information used in that way.

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