The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (or “S&T”) is working with the Transportation Security Administration to trial contactless fingerprint scanning stations for traveler processing at airports.
The tests began in June, and are taking place at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport. They’re restricted to volunteers who have signed up for TSA PreCheck, the TSA’s expanding biometric pre-screening program meant to improve security and expedite the security screening of members.
The testing is based on S&T’s Biometric Technology Engine, an evaluation program established this year; and is part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency’s S&T Screening at Speed program. The main aim of the tests, according to American Security Today, is to assess the relative ease of use and reliability of the technology, with travelers being largely unfamiliar with contactless fingerprint scanning. That could help to counter criticisms of the expanding use of biometric airport screening systems, such as the ACLU’s concerns that a growing reliance on facial recognition has not properly considered the technology’s accuracy rate.
If the tests deem the contactless fingerprint scanning systems to be viable means of passenger identification, the technology could be used not just for security but to replace boarding passes altogether, which could help to enhance the travel experience for passengers.
Source: American Security Today
August 17, 2017 – by Alex Perala