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What Happens In Vegas Is Now Photographed by the TSA

What Happens In Vegas Is Now Photographed by the TSA
Jackie Reddy

The TSA has announced that it will be conducting a temporary test using facial recognition technology at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport. This trial will compare a passenger’s live facial details against their personal identification documents in order to verify and match their identity.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will be conducting a temporary test deploying facial recognition technology at McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Gizmodo reports.

According to a document released by the TSA and seen by the outlet, this is a voluntary trial, but, as it explains, this program is essentially part of the administration’s drive to increase the use of this kind of technology.

In this document, the body explained that, “TSA will assess its ability to compare the passenger’s live facial image at the checkpoint against an image taken from the passenger’s identity document for passengers who opt to participate.”

The TSA then goes on to explain that security checkpoints within the airport will deploy cameras featuring a Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) device. Putting the process into simple terms, the outlet explains that this is, “…meant to validate a person’s ID as legit, take an image of said ID, and snap a picture of that person’s face. It’ll then compare those images to verify a person’s identity.

The information to be collected on travelers will include dates of birth and dates of travel plus photos. While described as “dumb”, these details will be used for analysis by authorities at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but will eventually be destroyed.

There are, however, concerns over the deployment of this kind of technology.

Speaking to the outlet, Evan Greer, deputy director at Fight for the Future, a digital advocacy group, said, “It’s outrageous that TSA is continuing to expand its use of biometric scanning at a time when there is widespread consensus that we need to at the very least pause the spread of this tech so we can have a meaningful public debate about what role, if any, facial recognition surveillance can play in a free and open society.”

However, speaking out about these advances in a statement in 2018, David Pekoske, TSA Administrator, said, “With the threat to aviation evolving every day, developing the next generation of security technology with our industry partners is critically important. By expanding our use of biometrics, TSA secures its position as a global leader in aviation security and advances global transportation security standards.

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