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Transportation Privacy

Delta Airlines Tests Facial Recognition To Speed Up Baggage Check-In (cnn.com) 57

Would you let Delta airlines scan your face if it meant you could skip the line to check-in your baggage? An anonymous reader quotes CNN: Delta is testing a face-scanning kiosk for baggage check... It uses facial recognition technology to match your identity to your passport photo. You tag your own bags, pay the fee and drop your luggage on a conveyor belt... Delta will test four of the machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this summer. The airline spent $600,000 on the four kiosks.
A senior staff attorney at the EFF warns this could be a slippery slope -- at what point this morphs into airline surveillance? But a Delta spokerspeson insists the images won't be stored, that they're complying with privacy laws, and that the kiosks could double the number of passengers whisking through their check-in procedures.
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Delta Airlines Tests Facial Recognition To Speed Up Baggage Check-In

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  • by vivian ( 156520 ) on Saturday May 20, 2017 @10:40AM (#54454981)

    Are you kidding me? The airline knows already knows who you are, what seat you will be sitting in, where you are going and have all your passport details. Do people really think there's any additional information the airline is going to glean from a photo of you other than confirming you are who your passport says you are?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You know what else would speed up check-in? Having enough people at the counter.

      • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Saturday May 20, 2017 @10:50AM (#54455023)

        But that doesn't let them use automation to replace people, cutting salary and benefit costs while upping the CEO's year-end bonus.

        • cutting salary and benefit costs while upping the CEO's year-end bonus

          Companies generally don't look for excuses to throw more money at CEOs -- they pay what they think is required to retain them. Just like they do with you and me.

          Any additional profits would much more likely ultimately reach the shareholders. Like the mutual funds in your retirement account, for example. Which most people, and I bet even you, expect to go up in value over time.

        • Automating things at the airport improves customer service opportunities, to a point. Place humans where they can improve brand perception and not doing archaic data entry.

          It is amazing how fast checking a bag with Virgin America is compared to the legacy carriers as a simple example.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        'check in' is NOT a significant time sink in airports. neither is baggage claim (other than waiting for bags to get offloaded and transported to the terminal in the first place).

        the time waster in airports is the fucking "security" check points...

        it's the "random" swabs of bags elsewhere in the terminal...

        it's the 'overbooked' flights where airlines sell additional last minute full fare tickets then bump the cheapest discounted travelers because they make more money that way, even with 'compensations' to th

      • Maybe you should just learn to travel lighter. I haven't been to a check-in counter in years. I check-in online, download my boarding pass to my phone, and then go straight to the gate.

        Fortunately the airlines are now charging luggage fees, so at least the people lugging 100 pounds of crap with them on a weekend trip are paying their fair share.

    • im glad i invested in my pilots license. charter a 172, no drama.
      • Dunno about that. Running out of gas 100 miles off the Atlantic coast seems kinda exciting to me.

        • Ok flyong a 172 across the arlantic is probsbly not a briliant idea du travel outside the americas ( nor incloding us teritories in the middle of nowhere) is Probably out, depending on the pilots licennse, if he has ifr and thr money to tent an aitcraft tjat can make the trip I see no issue, of course he has to pass thru costums and passport check on arival anyway
          • Ok flyong a 172 across the arlantic is probsbly not a briliant idea du travel outside the americas ( nor incloding us teritories in the middle of nowhere) is Probably out, depending on the pilots licennse, if he has ifr and thr money to tent an aitcraft tjat can make the trip I see no issue, of course he has to pass thru costums and passport check on arival anyway

            Ah. Experiencing some pretty heavy turbulence there, are ya?

    • That's because that additional information isn't for Delta. Intelligence agencies are constantly trying to find more ways to get as much biometric data as they can on everyone.
  • to all those data? With this POTUS intelligence this will all turn into a police super surveillance state - or whatever you may call it...

  • I wonder how many extra check-in staff you could hire for $600,000? Isn't the reason for the delay in check-in baggage because there are not enough people on staff to check your baggage?

    • Want to check in faster . . . ? Just fly 1st or business class.

      Oh, is that too expensive for you? Well, there's the answer right there. Airlines treat passengers like shit, because they can. This was the breakthrough discovered and exploited by RyanAir: People will put up with being treated like shit in exchange for a cheap airline ticket. Folks are addicted to cheap flights now. And, just like a drug addict, they are at the mercy of the drug dealers . . . in this case, the airlines.

      I don't see thi

    • No, it is about people bickering on fees, not knowing what they are doing, trying to change seats, etc. that shows the process down.
  • air marshals and local cops are replaced by robots who know exactly how to much to beat you and drag you off without breaking bones or leaving permanent damage.

  • "But a Delta spokerspeson insists the images won't be stored yet, that they're complying with privacy laws at the moment, ...

    FTFT

  • A Delta Customer service agent will be right with you.
  • Given recent news reports about altercations between airliner personnel and passengers, I wouldn't at all be surprised if airlines began video surveillance of ticketing booths gates, and the interior of airplanes. The problem with cell phone video is that it almost always misses the beginning of the incident. So if the industry feels they are being wrongly criticized by the news media replaying and relying exclusively on cell phone video to characterize a story, they are going to respond by installing 24/
    • Amsterdam airport attack? Please get your facts straight or is this another "alternate" fact?
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday May 20, 2017 @11:49AM (#54455259) Journal

    The baggage check-in is the least time-consuming part of flying. Now if there's something an airline could do to minimize sitting on the tarmac for three hours without being able to leave your seat, that would be impressive.

    They can't build high-speed trains fast enough for me. Flying has become much worse than riding the low-budget bus lines.

    • The baggage check-in is the least time-consuming part of flying.

      Won't be after the nifty hi tech machine breaks.

    • Well "the tarmac" is a bit unspesific where you at thr gaye or stuck st s taxyway brvause pf othr pilots/atc/whstever doing unexpected things causing delays and finaly making you lose youre take off slot? As mouch as atilines are "adding to the "flying experience" In gensral once the doors are closed the airline csn't do mouch about the travel time untill your flight is on grond at the festination iirc
  • by Cbs228 ( 596164 ) on Saturday May 20, 2017 @11:52AM (#54455269)

    If the airlines really want to streamline their check-in process, they should focus on creating terminals with a fast, responsive UX. Any time I've used an airport kiosk, I've had to click through anywhere from five to eight screens of information. Each screen is separated by a lengthy "loading" modal dialog box which takes anywhere from two to five seconds to process.

    No, I don't want to pay the at-airport price for a first-class upgrade. No, I don't want to change my seat---there are no more seats to be had! No, I don't want a mileage multiplier. To check bags, I have to swipe a credit card they already have on file and wait for it to authorize. At the end of the process, I have to wait another fifteen to twenty seconds for my boarding documents to re-print---regardless of whether or not I need them. All the while, I'm using a touchscreen which has the responsiveness characteristics of a physical keyboard: a physical keyboard that has been dipped in molasses and then coated in gelatin.

    As it stands, I suspect that the airlines really have no interest in streamline check-ins. They seem to use it mostly as another opportunity to sell you things.

    • If the airlines really want to streamline their check-in process

      What makes you think airlines want to do that? The check-in process is not the reason you need to sit around at the airport wasting time. They don't care about it. They don't care if it is even longer.

      Not paying a staff member; now you've got their interest.

      But as for your check-in process:

      No, I don't want to change my seat:

      I do. I always tick yes because quite often I find an undersold premium economy or better still an undersold emergency exit seat that they need to fill with anyone and when clicking on it it confirms the updated price of

  • Last international flight I took I walked into the self check-in counter with my online check-in barcode on my phone. Flashed it over a little box which then opened allowing me to put my suitcase in, it printed out a 2 tags: one for the bag and one for me, and then closed whisking away my suitcase to be collected wherever I arrive.

    Given I'd already bought the ticket, checked in online with my passport details, verified I am the person in possession of the online ticket, what the hell do they need to do a fa

  • Today they want to record my face, tomorrow it'll be imaging my balls. No!

    • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

      Today they want to record my face, tomorrow it'll be imaging my balls. No!

      They're already doing that with the "Pr0n-o-Vision" scanners at the security checkpoint.

  • UK people are used to this, I guess. As a company that works at an airport, they cannot insure that data won't be stored or used for anything else. They "Geek Squad" it if nothing else, aka intelligence agencies paying people to give them copies. Hell, if they use the Internet for this in anyway, technically the data transferred can be sold by the ISP rather than getting a warrant.
  • They'll be able to figure out who to threaten, intimidate, and beat before you even get on board. You might even be able to be humiliated and bruised without needing to go through security.
  • From the FS: "But a Delta spokerspeson insists the images won't be stored, that they're complying with privacy laws..."

    LOL Remember how they promised the literally exact same thing when it came to the special backscatter machines, the photos and such that are generated? Sure enough, it didn't even take long to discover that they lied their collective asses off.

    Even after that, who the hell knows if it's been fixed or what, namely because HEY LOOK OVER THERE.

  • What about plastic surgery?

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