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May 31, 2017

Your face could be your ticket to fly on JetBlue

by John_A

Airports are where hopes and dreams go to die. But JetBlue thinks that one method of how people typically pass the time could be used to speed up the boarding process. For some passengers, a taken-at-the-gate photo will suffice to get them to their sky-chair. It’s part of a collaboration between the airline and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office, Jetblue announced today.

“Customers who opt in during the boarding process can put away their boarding passes and devices and simply step up to the camera for a quick photo. The custom-designed camera station will connect to CBP to instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details.

The customer will be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge. The setup will move JetBlue crewmembers from behind the counter to interact with customers and assist throughout the process. JetBlue will issue iPad minis to crewmembers, giving them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process while interacting with customers.”

It’ll start in very limited fashion this June, and only on service from flights to Beatrix International Airport in Aruba from Boston’s Logan International Airport.

“What we want to deliver is a secure and seamless passenger experience,” Jim Peters, the chief technology officer of info-tech provider SITA said in the release. “We use sophisticated technologies to enable biometric checks and for CBP authorization to be sent quickly to the airline’s systems.”

The pair are pitching this as a way of “enhancing” US national security and that it could be a quick and easy way to put biometric authorization in pretty much any airline and airport. The dark side of this is that the tech could be used to further build a surveillance database of US citizens. Previously we’ve seen the Customs department push for biometrics where you’d usually only need ID like a driver’s license.

Delta recently announced it was testing a photo-based bag checking system over the summer, but clarified that its photos would be deleted “immediately” following a match. We’ll update this post with more information about JetBlue and the CBP’s plans for photo storage should it arrive.

Via: Business Insider

Source: BusinessWire

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