Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on Tuesday new fingerprint tech will first undergo proof-of-concept tests at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport. TSA did not provide an exact start date, but the evaluation will examine how using fingerprints as both boarding pass and identification will function at security checkpoints over the course of four weeks starting mid-June. It would only work for passengers who previously provided fingerprints by enrolling in the TSA PreCheck screening program.
Once fingerprints are matched up, the machine would then obtain boarding pass information through Secure Flight.
All participation is voluntary. Any passengers who decide to participate will still have to provide the required boarding pass and identification.
The private identification company Clear pioneered a service for travelers to skip to the head of airport checkpoint lines after identifying them by fingerprints or iris scans. Carriers such as JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines also want to use the technology to identify passengers.
“TSA looks at technologies and intelligence capabilities that allow us to analyze and secure the travel environment, passengers and their property,” TSA Acting Assistant Administrator Steve Karoly of the Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis said in the statement. “Through these and other technology demonstrations, we are looking to reinvent and enhance security effectiveness to meet the evolving threat and ensure that passengers get to their destinations safely.”
The TSA will analyze the data collected in Denver and Atlanta's pilot programs in hopes of potentially implementing the technology at other U.S. airports in the future.
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