© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

From the Pages from Orlando Weekly: Orlando International Airport will soon use facial recognition to verify all travelers’ identities

Image: facial recognition kiosk, npr.org
Image: facial recognition kiosk, npr.org

Every international gate at Orlando’s main airport will soon use facial recognition to verify all travelers’ identities, including U.S. citizens.

Orlando International Airport will spend around $4 million for 30 facial I.D. kiosks that use U.S. Customs and Border Protection algorithms to identify passengers from a database of millions of government-issued image sources like passports, visas and drivers’ licenses.

Security agencies say facial recognition is more convenient than other biometric identifiers because it doesn’t require physical contact, like fingerprint scanners.

But convenience could come at the cost of accuracy. A 2017 report from the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology says the Department of Homeland Security’s airport facial recognition systems erroneously reject as many as one in 25 travelers with valid passports, and some facial recognition software is known to misidentify women, especially women of color, at much higher rates than white men.

Airlines say the technology will speed up passenger processing. But Customs and Border Protection is using it to build a “lookout list,” where faces scanned by the kiosks can remain stored for up to 75 years.

There are currently no laws or regulations in Florida that govern the use of facial recognition technology or the biometric identification they collect and store.

90.7 WMFE relies on donors like you. Your support allows us to provide independent, trustworthy journalism and fact-based content. Show your support today by contributing on a monthly basis or making a single online donation.