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This article was published on February 13, 2017


Paris airport hopes facial recognition is the answer to long lines

Paris airport hopes facial recognition is the answer to long lines


Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

If you’re traveling through Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, be prepared for some invasive new biometric security measures.

Following terrorist attacks on the European capital, delays in airport security have doubled. Groupe ADP, who operates Paris’ airports, is testing the new software in Charles de Gaulle in an attempt to cut down on these times.

This software, from a company called Vision-Box, will check your passport image against your face. Only visitors from other European Union countries currently have this option. Bloomberg says, “The move comes as airports worldwide are rushing to tap digital technologies, including biometric recognition, to speed passengers through airports.”

What does this mean for travelers? Wait times will be shorter, but your face – and presumably, all of your travel details – will be scanned and could be recorded.

While this could decrease long airport wait times, this might be a slippery slope to further surveillance via facial recognition. Considering scientists are already testing AI that will pick out criminal characteristics, it’s scary to think what security biometrics could become at an airport.

Both Paris’ airports already have biometric fingerprint scanners, though Bloomberg notes that “only 3 percent of people passing through Charles de Gaulle use [this software].”

ADP is funding the software itself, but the French government still has to sign off its use after the trial period. Using the software will be free, unlike biometric screening in certain US airports.