October 9, 2020
A recent IFSEC Global study gave the world a glimpse into a dystopian COVID-19/Big Brother marriage. The Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom is installing biometric gates at each and every access point.
With numerous access and entrance control points across its five terminals for customers to contend with, Simon Wilcox, Heathrow Passenger Automation Program Lead, recognized the need to handle passenger flow in the most efficient way possible – without compromising on security.
Heathrow airports’ biometric gates will scan passengers faces throughout the entire airport. No one will be safe from Big Brother’s gaze, not you or your family.
The automation program specified required implementing biometric gates that would bring facial recognition to each access point of a departing passenger’s journey. The new technology would use facial recognition at check-in, bag drops, security lanes and boarding gates to create a “seamless experience for passengers” walking through the airport.
Heathrow airport, like airports around the world, is exploiting the public’s fear of COVID-19 and using it to justify installing facial recognition gates everywhere; from passenger check-in, to bag drops, security lanes and boarding gates.
Last month, a Tascent corporate announcement revealed that the Information Engineering Group Inc., will be installing “a touchless, streamlined experience” at airport lounges everywhere.
And what exactly is this ‘touchless, streamlined experience’? Why facial recognition of course.
The IEG-Tascent solution uses Tascent’s InSight® Face devices for face recognition and traveler messaging, coupled with the biometric identity management services of Tascent Enterprise Suite. These are integrated with IEG’s superior Airport Lounge Access capabilities and end-customer systems to provide a seamless, opt-in solution that minimizes close physical contact while maximizing customer service and respecting traveler’s privacy and health concerns.
So not only do airports want to ID and track airline passengers at the front gates but now they want to ID and track them entering and exiting airport lounges.
Do you remember the outrage politicians had expressed over school facial recognition of students like in upstate New York? Well, none of that apparently matters once those same students step foot inside of an airport.
The IFSEC Global study like so many other industry-wide facial recognition studies plays on the public’s fear of catching COVID-19.
“And, with a pandemic highlighting the need for improved health and safety requirements, less physical contact and face to face engagement between staff and passengers would be required.”
And just like that, Big Brother hopes you buy their excuse to ID and track every airline passenger.
The total amount of facial recognition gates that Heathrow Airport will use to ID and track airline passengers is a mind-boggling 400+.
Andy Carter, Contracting Business Sales and Operations Director at dormakaba UK said: “The final project looks to have over 400 gates installed across the whole airport. Each one has dormakaba software on the gates, incorporating Heathrow’s biometric data, as well as a connection to the management server.”
To my knowledge, there is not a single known instance of any airport using 400 facial recognition gates to ID and screen airline passengers other than Heathrow. Will 400 facial recognition gates be the gold standard or will other airports install 500, 700 or maybe even 1,000 facial recognition gates in the future?
Across the globe, numerous international airports have begun installing an unknown number of dormakaba facial recognition gates. Back home in the U.S., the picture is equally vague. At least five airports have begun using an unknown number of dormakaba facial recognition gates, they are…
The Boston Logan International Airport in Massachusetts
The Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport in Florida
The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona
The McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Portland International Airport in Oregon
There is no word on exactly how many dormakaba facial recognition gates have been installed at each U.S. airport, but you can bet it is more than a few. (To learn more about dormakaba’s invasive facial recognition gates, click here.)
Americans have more to worry about than dormakaba’s facial recognition gates being installed at our airports. That’s because the Flint-Bishop International Airport in Michigan has begun equipping police with facial recognition smart helmets.
“Flint Bishop International Airport Police will stand alone as the first group in the country to utilize this new technology,” said Steve Lorincz, TSA’s Federal Security Director Detroit Field Office. “The airport, along with TSA’s initiatives from our ‘Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.’ Campaign, utilizing acrylic barriers and Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) units to minimize personal touch points, remain committed to the health and safety of our frontline workers and airline travelers to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.”
The flying public will be identified and tracked everywhere they go except when using a restroom; but even that may change in the near future. The push is on to convince the flying public that turning our airport’s into virtual prisons is for everyone’s safety.
Is the use of this software really about public safety, or instead a continuing process to invade our privacy by treating airports more like prisons. Tascent’s “Next-Generation Visitor Management” system is a great example. It is the exact same technology being used in our airports, except it has been rebranded and marketed as a prison visitor ID system.
Source: MassPrivateI Blog