China has just got its first airport facial recognition system, reports Shanghai Daily.
The system was developed by domestic company Shanghai Doudian Technologies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security’s Third Research Institute. The system takes travelers’ photos at security checkpoints within the airport, linking their faces to their boarding passes. When passengers then board their planes, a final biometric scan compares their faces against the previously collected information, acting as an additional security check.
It’s a somewhat unusual biometric screening system. Many others popping up around the world link passengers’ biometric data to that contained in their electronic passports, using automated biometric screening to improve efficiency and convenience in passenger processing, as in the case of the Aruba Happy Flow project deployed by Vision-Box. But the Chinese authorities’ move does reflect a broader concern with biometric security among state authorities around the world, with America’s Customs and Border Protection agency trialing biometric security screening at two major US airports.
In China’s case, this could be the first step toward more widespread biometric border screening, which could ultimately improve not only airport security but also the passenger experience.