How Facial Recognition Is Taking Over Airports

October 8, 2019

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Instead of scanning her boarding pass, the airport gate scanned her face.

In April 2019, traveler MacKenzie Fegan was left surprised and confused when she boarded a JetBlue flight from the United States to Mexico, without handing over her passport, or travel documents.

“There were plastic barricades across the front of each lane, I look to my right, and the gate opens,” she tells CNN Travel. “I was like, ‘What, just happened?’ There was no boarding pass scan, nothing like that.”

Before she’d even sat down on her airplane seat, Fegan, a New York-based journalist, fired off a Tweet to JetBlue, asking the airline to explain the process.

“Did facial recognition replace boarding passes, unbeknownst to me? Did I consent to this?” She wrote, clicking send.

About 10 minutes later, Fegan received a reply:

“You’re able to opt out of this procedure, MacKenzie. Sorry if this made you feel uncomfortable,” read the response.

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