Facial Recognition at US Airport
by Laura Harris | Natural News

The government has recently passed the reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which allows the use of digital identification at airports.

The government claims that the 1,062-page bill – which renews the FAA’s authority for five years – seeks to bolster aviation safety, enhance protections for passengers and airline workers and invest in nationwide airport and air travel infrastructure.

The comprehensive legislation, which garnered broad bipartisan support, authorizes more than $105 billion in funding for the FAA and allocates $738 million to the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2024 through 2028.

Some important provisions in the legislation include introducing more long-distance flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport near Washington, D.C., hiring more air traffic controllers, improving runway safety and passenger protections, enhancing protections for airline workers, setting a standard for travel credits and increasing cockpit voice recording.

But Sean Miller, writing for InfoWars, warned that the bill features a crucial passage on Section 1103 “Acceptance of Digital Driver’s License and Identification Cards,” which essentially allows digital IDs to be used at airports. The relevant passage reads:

“The [FAA] Administrator shall take such actions as may be necessary to accept, in any instance where an individual is required to submit government-issued identification to the Administrator, a digital or mobile driver’s license or 18 identification card issued to such individual by a state.”

The bill does not specify whether a “mobile driver’s license” equates to simply a photo of a driver’s license stored on a smartphone. Instead, it moves on to the FAA’s role in celebrating the 125th anniversary of heavier-than-air flight in America, a milestone commemorated over a century after the Europeans’ mastery of lighter-than-air flight.  (Related: Worldcoin CEO: Global digital currency tied to global digital ID will soon be required ‘whether you like it or not.’)

Digital IDs in FAA bill align with TSA’s expanding use of facial recognition

Miller claims in his article that the inclusion of digital IDs in the FAA bill is not entirely unexpected, given the recent trends in airports where biometric identification systems are increasingly being adopted.

For instance, in 2023, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intensified the use of facial recognition technology in U.S. airports. Passengers would approach security checkpoints to insert their identification card into a slot and look into a camera about the size of an iPad. The system would then capture their image and compare it to the one on the ID. Once verified, the screen would display “photo complete” and the traveler would proceed without the need to present documents to the TSA officer.

Currently, 15 airports have already implemented this technology, although not all TSA checkpoints at those airports are equipped with these terminals. Small signs notify travelers that their photos will be taken as part of the pilot program and that they can opt out.

Jason Lim, a TSA identity management capabilities manager, assured reporters during a demonstration of the technology at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport that images and IDs are deleted after a certain period and are not compiled into a central database. He noted that the technology is still under assessment and data is only shared with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate under limited circumstances.

However, privacy advocates and some elected officials argue that passengers opting out might face additional screenings, pat-downs, interrogations or even detention. Critics also question who has access to the collected data and the potential risks if it is hacked, given the increasing use of biometric information in both the private sector and the federal government.

Watch this documentary that discusses how digital passports would introduce state control.

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