Don’t forget to pack your face the next time you head to LAX’s Terminal 4. The airport is getting into the facial recognition game thanks to a new pilot program between the Dutch digital security company Gemalto and American Airlines.
The program will let American test whether passengers like and are willing to use facial recognition to expedite the boarding process and ensure that the technology meets Customs and Border Protection requirements.
Gemalto’s tech can replace boring old paper boarding passes by instantly matching passenger faces against the pre-populated Department of Homeland of Security database. All images will be wiped from the system as soon as they are verified. If that still freaks the tuna salad out of you, though, individuals can opt out of the program, and gate agents will continue to check passports the old fashioned way before boarding.
It’s part of a growing trend: Starting this month, customers flying Delta through the Atlanta airport’s Terminal F also have the option to use face-recognition boarding, although Gemalto’s tech is different in that it could appeal to airlines that don’t want to take over an entire terminal. Its biometric tech is “uniquely flexible with regards to space limitations,” if they do say so themselves (and they do), and it could potentially be integrated into the existing agent podium to facilitate boarding, no new kiosks required.