Powerful Security Tool Coming To CLT Airport Raises Concerns

CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte-Douglas Airport is preparing for facial recognition technology.

It is one of the most powerful security tools out there.

A machine would take a picture of your face and scan it before you leave or enter the country.

Now, privacy concerns are growing about who will have access to your photo.

“It’s just going to be interesting to see what kind of privacy laws come with that as we move into a more robotic world,” said Charlotte passenger Lee Dyer.

The reason Charlotte is getting this new facial recognition technology is because the Trump Administration issued an executive order, stating the top 20 busiest airports must have it by January 2021 and use it on people entering or leaving the country to stop terrorists.

Border control says it can also use it to stop people with warrants.

Airlines can use it to speed up the boarding process.

TSA says you will stand in front of a machine, scan your boarding pass and passport. A camera scans your face
to make sure it matches your passport picture.

Passengers question where all the photos go and whether hackers can gain access.

TSA says it does not store your picture. Click here for more information from TSA.

“Are they retained? Are they shared? Are they used for other things? Are they going to be used in the duty free store? Are they going to be used to track everywhere you go in the airport and collect information about you for marketing?” said ACLU’s Jay Stanley. “Even if TSA says they aren’t being done now, we do know that they have very ambitious plans down the road for how to use biometrics way beyond what we’re doing right now.”

Studies show major privacy concerns with biometrics, according to the ACLU.

“Does it falsely say you are an impostor when you are not? Does it actually falsely let somebody who’s on a watch list through when they shouldn’t be let through?” said Stanley. “There’s also questions about whether this technology has higher error rates for African Americans and other people with dark skin and also error rates for women.”

Passengers here expect zero say so either way.

Well, the government already has anything anyway,” said Dyer.”I don’t think there’s much that we can hide from them.”

The ACLU says it is working with Congress to monitor the technology.
Some airports, like Atlanta’s, are already trying it.