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Friday, June 14, 2024

Banning Biometrics at Airports Would “Create Chaos,” Says U.S. Travel

Flying down to Palm Beach International Airport from LaGuardia International Airport last week for Luxury Travel Advisor’s Ultra Summit, we approached the TSA worker who would typically look at our ID as we scan our boarding pass before heading through the screening process. Instead of the typical PreCheck line we would use, we instead used the new Digital ID line—available to those who opt into Delta’s biometric program. Removing neither our ID or boarding pass, we looked at a camera for hardly a second and next thing we knew the TSA agent said, “Thank you,” and we carried on. There were no issues with our process, nor anyone in line ahead of us.

This process, however—should Congress pass an amendment to the latest Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill—could be disallowed. Senators Jeff Merkley and John Kennedy, alongside four other cosponsors, last month introduced an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would “immediately prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from using most automated facial matching technology at airport checkpoints.”

According to a U.S. Travel Association analysis, the proposed amendment could result in travelers waiting an additional 120 million hours in TSA lines each year by significantly slowing both TSA PreCheck and standard screening lanes. Further, “the senators’ proposal threatens national security by effectively banning TSA’s use of facial recognition technology for non-PreCheck passengers–which mal-intentioned individuals could exploit,” U.S. Travel said. The result could be “chaos,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

Read the rest of the story at Travel Agent Central.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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