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In an effort to cut in half the time it takes to check a bag, Delta will test a new system that uses facial recognition. This summer, four machines will test matching customers with their passport photos in Minneapolis to identify baggage. The airline is hoping to speed the process for passengers and free gate agents for other customer service duties.
This Isn’t Completely New
This is not Delta’s first cutting-edge technology test. They were an early adopter of RFID technology to track bags using special tags accessible via radio waves.
And this is not the first time airports have used facial recognition, or other biometrics, to identify passengers. Several years ago, the US Customs and Border Protection tested a system to compare passport pictures to facial scans to identify people traveling with flagged or bogus passports. Australia’s immigration service has also tested a system using facial recognition.
Let’s hope Delta uses this for its intended purpose because there are privacy laws to consider here. But if successful, this could be just one more piece in the process of making airports faster and easier.