TSA set to use facial recognition technology in airports across US 'as soon as next year'

The decision follows the federal agency having tested the technology for years and offering it as an option to travelers.

Updated: December 9, 2022 - 2:11pm

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The Transportation Security Administration is reportedly now ready to implement its facial recognition technology in airports across the county, raising concerns among privacy advocates.

The decision follows the federal agency having tested the technology for years and offering it as an option to travelers.

The testing for the technology – known as the Credit Authentication Technology with Camera or CAT-2 – began in the Department of Homeland Security in 2017 and included scanning fliers' faces at TSA checkpoint and comparing the images to the travelers' documents – such as their driver's licenses or passports, according to Fox Business News.

The biometric system has since expanded to 16 U.S. airports.

Jason Lim, who runs the TSA's facial recognition program, recently told The Washington Post the agency "hopes to expand it across the United States as soon as next year." 

In a New York Post column Thursday, James Bovard worte, "The TSA scanning system could be a big step toward a Chinese-style ‘social credit’ system that could restrict travel by people the government doesn’t like.

"Actually, TSA has already been caught doing that. In 2018, The New York Times exposed a secret watchlist for anyone TSA labels ‘publicly notorious.’ TSA critics to the end of the line – forever?"

The TSA has not provided data on how accurate the scans are, which is another concern for critics, Fox also reports.

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