Gatwick Airport to Install Facial Recognition
Gatwick Airport set to become the first in the UK to use facial-recognition cameras for ID checks before passenger board planes.
10:35 19 September 2019
Gatwick Airport has confirmed that it will use facial-recognition cameras on a permanent basis following a self-boarding trial with EasyJet last year. A spokeswoman for Gatwick says the decision is based on positive feedback from passengers in the earlier test.
She said: "More than 90% of those interviewed said they found the technology extremely easy to use and the trial demonstrated faster boarding of the aircraft for the airline and a significant reduction in queue time for passengers," she said.
"Gatwick [is now planning] a second trial in the next six months and then rolling out auto-boarding technology on eight departure gates in the North Terminal when it opens a new extension to its Pier 6 departure facility in 2022."
Privacy International, a civil liberty group, has voiced concerns over the move.
Ioannis Kouvakas, from Privacy International, said: "Our main concern... would be the issue of proper consent,"
"Placing general or vague signs that merely let individuals know that this technology is being deployed, once individuals are already inside the check-in area, is inadequate, in our view, to satisfy the strict transparency and consent requirements imposed by data-protection laws.
"If this would apply to child travellers... it raises even more concerns, considering the special protection afforded to children's privacy and the risks associated with having their biometrics taken by the airport private entities."