Facial recognition technology coming soon to Charlotte Airport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In an effort to speed up your wait time, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport is working to bring facial recognition to passengers flying internationally.

It’s a goal brought on by the airlines that fly in and out of the airport.

When you check-in for your international flight you would walk up to a camera kiosk.

It would take a picture of your face, then match that with your passport photo already in the government's database.

“It just actually speeds up the process, saves time and gives our officers more time to actually find what your true intent for coming into the United States is,” said Barry Chastain, who oversees North Carolina's U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The plan is to get the technology in place at the airport before the Republican National Convention in August 2020.

Chastain said his department, along with the Transportation Security Administration, airport and city of Charlotte are all on board and more than excited.

However, there’s some apprehension from the American Civil Liberties Union about whether law enforcement angencies will collect a database of American faces.

In a statement, the ACLU of North Carolina said, “If we build a system that turns our faces into passports that anyone can scan and store at any time, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen.”

Then there’s the reported problems of cameras giving false positives to people with a darker complexion in airports that have already tested the technology.

“We’re about 98.7 percent accurate on our facial recognition now. Those false positives that you mentioned are few and far between now,” said Chastain.

Passengers can always opt-out, you would just have to go through the traditional customs procedure.

The technology could expand to domestic flights, but officials couldn’t tell Channel 9 how soon that might happen.

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