Las Vegas’ McCarren International Airport (LAS) has become the latest site of the US Customs and Border Protection agency’s expanding biometric airport screening program.
The deployment comes just a few weeks after the CBP brought biometric passenger screening to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. As in that deployment and others, the LAS system will use facial recognition technology to scan passengers’ faces and compare them to those registered in flight manifests. If the scanned passengers are US citizens, their biometric data will be discarded within 14 days; otherwise the CBP will retain the data.
The biometric program and its expansion have seen opposition from privacy groups, with the American Civil Liberties Union having recently published an essay decrying the use of facial recognition on the grounds of reliability and potential discrimination issues, in addition to the matter of privacy. For its part, the CBP and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, have begun consultations with such privacy groups.
In a statement announcing the LAS deployment, the CBP indicated that “[f]uture deployments are planned for additional airports this summer.”
August 10, 2017 – by Alex Perala