According to ethical hacking specialists, the U.S. government’s interest in implementing facial recognition technology at airports has increased especially since the starting of Donald Trump’s administration, this despite opposition from the groups that advocate the privacy of users of services such as airlines.
After Trump signed an executive order, this technology is expected to be implemented at the top 20 U.S. airports by the end of 2021. Its main function would be to expedite the entry and registration of passengers, as government officials mentioned.
However, ethical hacking specialists say the government’s main goal in implementing this technology is to track travelers leaving the U.S., verifying their biometric data and sending records to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ) as a prevention of possible criminal acts.
This is a new reach in the implementation of face recognition technology, which had already been implemented by some technology companies, such as Apple, and even at border points in the U.S. and other countries. It is believed that the government could collect information from up to 100 million travelers a year.
The intention of the U.S. government is that citizens of and green card holders can dodge this permanent tracking activity, so their information would be removed from the government’s systems twelve hours after their trip. However, this requirement will be mandatory for tourists, whose records will be stored for up to two weeks.
Supporters of this plan argue that its implementation would facilitate the process of entry and departure of tourists at airports; According to spokespersons from British Airways, which has been using this technology, streamlining the process benefits more than 250,000 users a year, halved the documentation process at airports.
On the other hand, ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) point out the serious privacy drawbacks of using this technology. “Given the incidents of privacy violations we frequently hear, it is really doubtful to think that people’s information may be 100% protected in the hands of large companies and governments,” they said.