These 16 US airports are reportedly testing facial recognition technology on passengers that could roll out nationwide next year

These 16 US airports are reportedly testing facial recognition technology on passengers that could roll out nationwide next year
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  • The TSA could expand facial recognition identification tech across the nation next year, WaPo reported.
  • The tech is being deployed at airport checkpoints to enhance security and automate ID verification.

The Transportation Security Administration has reportedly rolled out a pilot program of its facial recognition identification system to 16 domestic airports across the US — and it could expand across airports nationwide as early as next year.

The technology, which matches "live photos" with a passenger's drivers license photo, is being tested at airport checkpoints to automate the identity verification process and modernize the screening experience, a TSA spokesperson told Insider.

"Biometric technology has the potential to enhance security effectiveness, improve operational efficiency, and yield a more streamlined passenger experience at the TSA checkpoint," a TSA spokesperson told Insider.

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Passengers could choose to not have their photo taken at the checkpoint and can proceed with a standard ID check with a TSA officer, according to the TSA.

The TSA does not have plans to implement the technology beyond the pilot stage at the moment, the spokesperson said.


Facial recognition tech was first tested at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in August 2020 before expanding to airports in Arizona, Indiana, and Miami, the spokesperson said.

Despite criticism by privacy experts over the technology potentially misidentifying passengers of color, the TSA said that it is will continue to improve its technology to eliminate bias, per the spokesperson.

"While we are informed the preliminary results are encouraging, TSA continues to monitor these pilots to ensure there is no inherent bias in the technology," the TSA spokesperson said.

If all goes to plan, the TSA expects to produce facial recognition tech later this year and will begin to deploy it at additional airports sometime right before 2024, another TSA spokesperson told Insider.

Here are the 16 US airports reportedly piloting facial recognition technology, per the Washington Post:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (GA)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (MA)
  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (MD)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (VA)
  • Denver International Airport (CO)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (TX)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (MI)
  • Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (MS)
  • Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (MS)
  • Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas (NV)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (CA)
  • Orlando International Airport (FL)
  • Miami International Airport (FL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (AZ)
  • San Jose International Airport (CA)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (UT)