Facial Recognition At Airports, Privacy Concerns And Options.

Airline travelers are now facing a new reality- their faces are now being used as boarding pass I.D.s.

Facial recognition technology is now in use at boarding gates for international flights at major airports in Europe, Asia and the U.S., even as privacy concerns about the technology continue to grow.

JetBlue has incorporated facial recognition technology at airports in New York; Delta in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City, with the remainder of its hubs added by year end 2019.  International airlines (such as Air France, Lufthansa and Norwegian) are also scanning faces to board airplanes in the U.S.

In Atlanta, Delta is using facial recognition for international passengers anywhere you would have to normally show your i.d./passport, i.e., the TSA checkpoint and boarding gate. You just look into the camera and the system identifies you and knows your destination and then prints out the luggage tag, eliminating the need for your passport and I.D. at boarding.  Just look into the camera and then go through the body scanners. Your seat assignment is processed at the gate, once again via facial recognition.

While facial recognition airport security and boarding is currently optional, Delta states that, as of last month,  only 2% of its passengers have thus far opted out of the program at the locations where it is in place.  If you wish to bypas the f.r. technology, simply hand over your passport and I.D. as in the past.

But privacy advocates have raised concern.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit research organization, says facial recognition can easily be misused unless strict rules are in place.

“It is a very intrusive identification technique, because it’s general-purpose. That technology being used by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) could be used by other federal agencies for other purposes,” he says. After airports, the government might take it to federal office buildings where people today can enter without being identified, Mr. Rotenberg says.

CBP says airline use of facial recognition isn’t an expansion, only a better way to confirm who’s onboard.

“This is not a surveillance program. This is replacing a manual check that goes on today,” says John Wagner, deputy executive assistant commissioner of CBP.

WSJ, August 14, 2019

We will certainly monitor this boarding process shift involving facial recognition technology and, update as warranted.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.


Flare Gun, Yes; Flares, No. Updated Flight Travel Rules For Carry-On/Checked Items.

when i fly

Having spent the last two weeks traveling nearly 15, 000 travel miles, from JFK , LAX, IAD and MIA to several small, regional airports in between, it occurs to me that the regulations for items that one can carry through TSA and ultimately onboard and alternately, check-in, have changed significantly.  Hence, in this week’s Beacon Bulletin, we bring you the latest official carry-on/check-in guidelines from the TSA.

On Domestic Flights:


                                                  Carry-On Checked
Alcohol                                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Creamy Dips and Spreads                        Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Fresh Whole Fruits                                     Item is allowed. Item is allowed.
Gravy                                                                Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Jam and Jelly                                                Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Maple Syrup                                                  Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Oils and Vinegars                                        Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Pies and Cakes                                              Item is allowed. Item is allowed.
Salad Dressing                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Salsa and Sauces                                         Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Soups                                                               Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Yogurt                                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.

FIREARMS: Not allowed as carry-on, but allowable as check-in:  guns, rifles, bb guns, flare guns, starter pistols, air-compressed guns, realistic replicas of gun or parts of guns and, ammo.  As for check-in, properly registered guns MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Absolutely not allowed at all, carry on or checked-in are flares, gun lighters and gun powder.


FLAMMABLES: NO CARRY-ON/NO CHECKED-IN: Aerosols (other than personal care), blasting caps, chlorine, dynamite, fire extinguishers, fireworks, fuels, flammable liquids and gels, gas torches, gasoline, hand grenades, lighter fuel, liquid bleach, recreational oxygen, spillable batteries, spray paint, strike-anywhere matches, torch lighters, turpentine, paint thinners and vehicle airbags.


Allowed as Carry-On but NOT as Check-In:

Lighters : (Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage.) Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case.

Safety Matches: One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.

Small Compressed Gas Cartridges Up to two in life vests and two spares. The spares must accompany the personal flotation device and presented as one unit.

None are allowed as carry-on but all permissible as check-in are: billy clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles, kubatons, night sticks, nunchucks, self-defense sprays, stun guns, throwing starts.

SHARP OBJECTS: Only disposable razors are allowed as carry-on.  Knives, ice picks, meat cleavers, sabers, scissors and even swords are allowed to be checked in.

SPORTING GOODS: Only skates, roller and ice, and skate boards are allowed as carry-on.  All others sports equipment have to be checked in.

TOOLS: Only screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers are allowed as carry-on.   Axes, drills, hammers and saws must be checked in.

When it comes to air safety, please pay attention to the rules.  The TSA and law enforcement are not playing around – nor should controlling potentially dangerous items while traveling be taken lightly.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.