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Biometric facial recognition technology is already being used at various points in the passenger journey at airports throughout the world. Airlines, airports and customs agencies—particularly US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—like both the accuracy of the identification technique and its ability to speed passenger processing through crowded airports.


Trials, such as those conducted by JetBlue Airways and British Airways, have been touted as tremendous successes. And China is moving fast to implement facial biometrics at its airports as air passenger traffic soars in the world’s most populous country.


But there are signs of pushback against the ongoing rollout of facial recognition technologies at the world’s airports. When CBP and Delta Air Lines tried to implement facial recognition at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), the airport’s operator, the Port of Seattle, forced a slowdown of the rollout.


Delta passengers departing SEA on international flights were expected to be able to board aircraft via facial recognition starting at the end of 2019. But the Port of Seattle’s commissioners adopted a resolution stating that “implementation of public-facing facial recognition technology” needs to be “clearly justified, equitable and transparent.” A working group will develop policies by March 31 “that can be clearly enforced and measured,” the port said in a statement, adding, “Commissioners also clarified that no biometric technology shall be implemented at port facilities until commissioners formally consider working group recommendations and develop policy by June 30, 2020.”

公开透明而且合乎道德规范 Transparent & Ethical

西雅图港务局委员会主席Stephanie Bowman就此番推迟的原因作了相关解释。

Port of Seattle Commission president Stephanie Bowman explained the reason for the pushback.


 “We know of more than 20 other airports that have implemented facial recognition technology, but no other port has undergone a public process to ensure that implementation would protect passenger rights, and be limited, transparent and ethical,” she said. “We feel that our community expects more than to have this kind of technology rolled out without any public discussion or input. When this Commission adopts policies in 2020, we will have the opportunity to create the nation’s best practices for public-facing biometrics.”


The port noted that it was trying to get “ahead of a national rise in public-facing facial recognition technology deployment over the next few years by its private sector and federal partners,” adding, “Currently, CBP uses facial recognition technology for international arrivals processing at 11 US airports and six cruise terminals, while airports and airlines have implemented facial recognition for international departures at 20 airports.”


US airports where facial recognition technology is used include Atlanta, Washington Dulles, Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Houston Intercontinental, New York JFK, Las Vegas McCarran, Los Angeles LAX, Miami, Orlando, San Diego, San Jose (California) and Portland (Oregon).

人脸识别技术在中国受到热捧 China Embraces Biometrics


Proponents of facial recognition technology at airports say passengers have overwhelmingly voiced support for such a use of biometrics.

国际航空电讯集团总裁Sumesh Patel告诉ATW:“我们所作的调查结果表明,如果能使自己的生活更轻松更便利,有68%的乘客愿意提供自己的生物特征信息。”“如果能让他们清楚地确信,航班一起飞就会删除这些生物特征数据,他们通常会欣然接受这项技术的。”

 “We do surveys and 68% percent of passengers were willing to share their biometric details if it made their life easier,” SITA Asia-Pacific president Sumesh Patel told ATW. “If they are provided with clarity and assured the data will be deleted as soon as the flight takes off, they are generally comfortable with the technology.”


SITA has been working with the Chinese government to introduce biometric identification at airports throughout the country. According to SITA, 27% of Chinese airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics and this figure is expected to reach 66% within three years.


Patel said Chinese airports are looking to adopt a system in which passengers step in front of a kiosk to have their passport scanned and a photo taken at the first touchpoint when they arrive in the airport, and then all subsequent touch points would be passed through using facial recognition. The passenger’s face, in effect, would become his or her passport.


 “More than half of the airports [in China] have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022,” according to SITA.


Patel said passengers could opt out of biometric facial recognition, but conceded that doing so would likely lead to a much longer processing time through the airport, perhaps as long as three hours.


He noted that airlines, airports and passengers will be forced to widely adopt biometric identification or risk stifling air traffic growth.


 “Over the next 20 years, the passenger numbers are going to double, but airports are only going to grow by about 5% to 6%, so there is a need to rely on technology to enable growth,” he said, adding that dramatically speeding passenger processing in airports is the only viable way for air traffic growth to match expected demand.

这条消息是Aaron KarpAir Transport World发表文章的摘要。欲详细了解美国部署该技术的进展情况,请阅读全文。