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Think Airport Facial Recognition Is Too Invasive? Opt Out

Think Airport Facial Recognition Is Too Invasive? Opt Out
Jennifer Billock

Have you seen the biometrics and facial recognition scanners getting installed at airports around the country? By 2021, the 20 largest airports in the country are expected to have them. But if you’re not a fan of biometrics, don’t worry—you can’t be forced to submit to facial scans. Just tell them no.

Whether we like it or not, facial recognition at airports is in the future for the United States on a larger scale. It’s already at about a dozen, and will be installed at the 20 biggest airports in the country by 2021. It’s meant to make the check-in process easier and reduce the need for paper tickets.

But facial scan technology also has its problems. According to a statistic reported by Tech Crunch, it only works about 85 percent of the time. Plus, a lot of people don’t agree with it, saying it’s too invasive and carries legal concerns. The information is collected by the airlines using it and then passed on to Customs and Border Protection so they can check you against their watch lists and make sure no one is overstaying a visa.

If you’re one of the people giving facial recognition the side-eye, don’t worry—you can opt out, as long as you’re a U.S. citizen. It’s as easy as telling an airline employee or customs officer that you prefer not to do the biometrics scan. They’ll then be required to check your passport and boarding pass, just like they do now. Citizens of other countries, with few exceptions, are required to get the scans, though.

“Once the biometric exit program is a nationally-scaled, established program, foreign nationals will be required to biometrically confirm their exit from the United States at the final [boarding] point,” CBP spokesperson Jennifer Gabris told TechCrunch. “This has been and is a Congressional mandate.”


[Image Source: Delta]

View Comments (3)


  1. SarcasticMisanthrope

    May 21, 2019 at 4:25 am

    It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact when I use my Nexus card in Canadian airports it uses my retinal patterns to clear me into Canada. This is the new norm people, get used to it.

  2. bobert24

    May 21, 2019 at 9:01 am

    If it doesn’t bother you on some level, you don’t understand it. It may bother some people more than others, but there’s no one who fully understands this and has zero problem with it.

  3. sfoeuroflyer

    May 21, 2019 at 9:49 am

    If done well, facial recognition will be far less bothersome and intrusive than other means. So, I, for one, fully endorse it. Further, if a person is worried about government spying on us, it already does worse things, so get over it.

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