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TSA Launches New Facial Recognition Tech at LAX

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has introduced new facial recognition technology to more accurately and efficiently verify the identity of guests at some of the airport’s security checkpoints, operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) said this week.

The next generation Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) unit is equipped with a camera that captures a photo of the guest. The CAT compares the guest’s facial features with their photo ID that’s been inserted, confirming their identity.

Once the technology confirms a match, it will be verified by a TSA officer and the guest can proceed through the checkpoint without ever exchanging physical documents. Photos captured by CAT units are not stored or used for any other purpose than identity verification in the security checkpoint. Guests who do not wish to participate in facial recognition verification can opt out in favor of an alternative identity verification process.

“As a longtime TSA innovation partner, LAX has led the way in developing, testing and implementing new technology and procedures which enhance safety and streamline the guest experience,” said Justin Erbacci, LAWA CEO. “By testing the latest in biometrics, we once again are setting new industry standards for safety, security and efficiency.”

The next generation CAT units are in place in terminals throughout LAX and the TSA is currently collecting data to measure the speed and accuracy of guest facial recognition to evaluate the help the feasibility of potential deployment to other U.S. airports.

“TSA is focused on the future of screening operations and leveraging enhanced capabilities of existing technologies to ensure the highest level of security effectiveness,” said Keith Jeffries, TSA federal security director at LAX. “I am grateful for the leadership at LAX and their willingness to enthusiastically embrace the next generation of technologies throughout the airport.”