Flying is a miserable experience for the most part. Long lines. Bad food. Terrible service. No personal space. Delayed flights. It’s not fun. One of the least enjoyable aspects of flying is dealing with TSA. We’ve all heard the horror stories about overbearing TSA agents and you won’t find many people out there who are thrilled about taking off their shoes, belts, jackets, etc.
Now, things are getting even wilder.
From Conservative Tribune:
Americans’ privacy rights are at risk with a new airport security system: Facial recognition.
It’s something out of George Orwell’s “1984.” According to The Verge, the new screening is called Biometric Exit.
The new security system takes a scan of every visa holder’s face in order to match it to an already existing passport. The system remembers the facial geometry to check for anyone who is trying to illegally enter or leave the United States.
This might sound cool to some. It’s actually pretty intense.
Here’s what Republican Senator Mike Lee thinks about it.
From The Daily Signal:
There are a number of issues with this program, including that Homeland Security hasn’t instituted a way to let travelers know that they will be subjected to this scan before they fly.
But more importantly there is no evidence to show that this facial scan actually works. Homeland Security is hoping to use this technology accurately 96 percent of the time. But even at that rate, 1 of 25 travelers would still be misidentified and improperly flagged by Homeland Security.
Additional evidence shows gender and ethnicity increase the likelihood of being improperly flagged.
But perhaps the biggest concern is how the government will use this accumulated data and whether or not Homeland Security is even allowed to collect it in the first place.
As of now, the information is supposedly only shared with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to check for fraud, and then deleted from the Homeland Security database after 14 days.
But in our examination of the program, we have not seen satisfactory safeguards that protect this information from being accessed by third-party groups or that show these protocols are actually being followed.
That doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?
Obviously, we should be doing everything we can to make sure passengers are safe and 9/11 forever changed how airport security is looked at but at the same time protecting our civil liberties is critically important as well. Doesn’t sound like the government has the answers to some of these questions about personal information being stored.
Typically, the government doesn’t do a good job running anything. Sounds like this isn’t going very smoothly and likely won’t work out the way it’s being promised.
We will have to wait and see how this plays out but it’s not looking very promising.
[Note: This post was written by Andrew Mark Miller]