'It’s a trend that is quickly becoming accepted reality – biometric identification at U.S. airports. So far, it has been marketed mainly as an elective measure for preferred travelers who wish to expedite clearance, or for inbound international travelers. Now, however, it is being sprung upon the general traveling public in new locations, raising concerns from privacy activists like the ACLU about “mission creep.”
Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. is the latest to implement facial recognition for boarding. Some people apparently were caught off guard by the new technology, but generally seem to have become desensitized to additional security measures in the United States.
In their article, “Dulles Airport Surprises Passengers with Facial-Recognition Boarding,” NextGov reports:
Passengers preparing to board a Scandinavian Airlines flight to Copenhagen Thursday were surprised by the new boarding system but excited at the prospect of faster, more secure boarding.
“It doesn’t matter,” Maryland resident Kim Meekins said of not being informed ahead of time. “You go to different airports and they do different things depending on their technology. If it’s another safety measure to make sure everyone has a safe flight, I’m all for whatever. I didn’t need to be notified ahead of time.”
Meekins said she is a frequent flyer, so the idea of cutting boarding time in half was enticing.
“That would be awesome,” she said. “It would be wonderful.”
For Thea Ottersen of Norway, privacy was not a major concern, as the general procedure doesn’t differ much from what she has come to expect from American airport security.
However, for those of us who value privacy — and particularly transparency when being demanded to give it up — we have to note the incremental nature of how this has “creeped” into society, now becoming normalized. We must then ask – where does it end?'
Read more: Privacy Concerns of 'Mission Creep' with New Airport Facial Recognition Programs