NEC has confirmed that its facial recognition technology is powering the new Star Alliance Biometrics system that was recently installed at Germany’s Frankfurt and Munich airports. The platform enables face-based authentication for participating travelers on select Lufthansa and SWISS flights.
The Star Alliance and NEC first announced that they were developing a biometric screening system in July of 2019, though the Frankfurt and Munich programs are their first official deployments. Those interested in using the system can use a mobile app to link their face to their travel documents. After that, they will be able to pass through security gates and board their plane with only a facial recognition scan.
The opt-in service is currently available to members of the Miles & More frequent flyer program. More than 1,700 eligible individuals have registered for the service since it debuted in November. NEC indicated that the platform is compliant with all of the relevant data protection regulations, and that the system does not store the names of customers.
The two companies are hoping that the contactless screening technology will make air travel safer and restore the public’s trust during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over time, the program will expand to support additional utilities at the airport and beyond.
December 2, 2020 – by Eric Weiss