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Flying Home for The Holidays? TSA Is Using Your Face as Your ID at These Airports

Holiday travelers may see a familiar face as they pass through airport security checkpoints this month: their own.

A dozen major U.S. airports have allowed the Transportation Security Administration to test state-of-the-art technology that gives airline passengers the option of having their face scanned at the checkpoint rather than handing a driver’s license or boarding pass to the officer for visual inspection.

The rollout of this technology nationwide moves the TSA toward automating identity verification, similar to how Department of Homeland Security agency U.S. Customs and Border Protection scans the faces of incoming and outgoing international passengers.

“Biometric technology has the potential to enhance security effectiveness, improve operational efficiency, and yield a more streamlined passenger experience at the TSA checkpoint,” TSA spokesman Daniel D. Velez wrote in an email. “TSA recognizes that biometric solutions must be highly usable for all passengers and operators, considering the diversity of the traveling public.”

The TSA, which was created by Congress after 9/11, has dramatically changed how it identifies and verifies the identities of passengers and screens for prohibited items in the nearly two decades since the attacks.

Basic walk-through metal detectors and wands have been replaced with advanced imaging and X-ray machines, bottled liquid scanners, computed tomography systems that show luggage in multiple dimensions, and machines capable of verifying a person by the unique characteristics of a fingerprint and facial symmetry.

The Washington Examiner has tracked DHS’s rollout and increasing dependence on facial scanning programs at U.S. airports since 2018.

The biggest upgrade to transportation technology came in its initial issuing of credential authentication technology, known as CAT. The system allows passengers to hold their license under a scanner and have that information compared to flight manifests.

However, that process still requires that a TSA officer visually confirm that the passenger is the individual named on the license.

Initially, the license-scanning program was rolled out to a dozen airports. More than 110 airports offer this type of identity verification at security checkpoints as of December, according to the TSA.

In the follow-up version of CAT, known as CAT 2, the system uses a camera to capture a live image of the passenger’s face and compares it to a photo from a government document, such as a passport or license, that has been pulled in advance of the flight.

The TSA has stated that facial identification technology will not be used for law enforcement or immigration enforcement.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske testified before Congress in 2021 that a DHS test of the facial scanning systems concluded that “no consistent statistically significant differences in performance across gender, race, and skin tone were observed across test conditions for the CAT-2 system.”

Participating airports as of Dec. 9 include:

  • Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Gulfport Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

  • Martha says:

    This is against the law and thing the Liberal wants to control people.

  • John says:

    I will allow them to scan my ass the same thing they can kiss I’ll take a private plane if I have to fly anywhere instead of flying on another domestic terrorist communist invasion of privacy BY A N.W.O.government demonic controlled Airlines

  • Cavalryman says:

    Just another reason I don’t fly.

  • MisterNatural says:

    We have a Constitutional Right to travel unmolested. I recall when I could just go to the ticket counters, pay cash,and go fly. Burbank Airport had a 4′ fence between the baggage claim area and the aircraft ramp.

    Most of America’s terrorist attacks are false flag in an effort to foist a one world government onto the populous.

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