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'So Overboard It Should Be Illegal': Use of Facial Recognition in Airports Draws Angers

'So Overboard It Should Be Illegal': Use of Facial Recognition in Airports Draws Angers

Eoin Higgins, staff writer

A boarding technology for travelers using JetBlue is causing controversy due to a social media thread on the airline's use of facial recognition.

Last week, traveler MacKenzie Fegan described her experience with the biometric technology in a social media post that got the attention of JetBlue's official Twitter account.


Higgins sez:
“JetBlue is relying on help from Customs and Border Protection and DHS, as Sean Farrell, the portfolio director for government solutions at SITA, the company running the technology, explained …”

Verrrry interesting job title. Your tax dollars at work, folks.


I doubt that even George Orwell could imagine this amount of “Big Brother” shit on the horizon.


21st Century Nazi Mentality.


We need to all (that fly) wear the same Porky Pig or DJT mask. Then we are all visually same faced.
Sorry “your papers” are no longer enough. Soon at an airport near you, a DNA test or sampling will be required to fly the freedom skies.

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This is not a time to be flying anywhere my friend.


Basically, this is basically a couple of corporations working with governments to ID and catalog everyone, so that our movements can be monitored 24/7. This is basic fascism, and it did not start with, nor is it exclusive to, the Donald Trump administration.

I know that overall there are very few mainstream Democrats here on Common Dreams, but for those of you who are here, I’d love to hear your spin on how the Pelosis, Schumers, Clintons and Obamas will put this to good use to benefit everyone, after we get rid of Trump…?


I have simply quit flying. I use the old " for health reasons " to dodge the why ?.
" If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll end up standing for anything. "


They call it democracy…

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Customs and Border Protection is just so helpful to the nice corporation! What a win-win-win situation for all of us in this great capitalist democracy!

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Two points:
Perhaps most immediately importantly: Flight should be basically shut down worldwide at this point, to address the climate emergency. None of us should be flying anywhere, anyway. How can it still seem so normal to so many people to keep flying and driving?

Perhaps more importantly long-term, but also pretty immediately given the accelerating pace of tech development and roll-out of AI: If anyone thinks that centralizing power will opt to NOT adopt each and every invasive and controlling technology that becomes available, for some human rights or democracy reason, think again.

OF COURSE they will be absolutely as invasive and controlling as they possibly can. Don’t act surprised. Figure out how to resist, individually but more importantly, how could we resist democratically, as a movement, as a people? What kind of tech policy would we like, and how can we organize to demand it?

What this tech policy / tech law / centralizing power question truly boils down to is: What does it mean to be human? And, Can we hold on to that?

i’ve always wondered about broad acceptance of the job title Human Resources Manager.

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They’re preparing for the revolution in the streets that is coming.
Ok, it’s RS but,
US billionaires know capitalism is broken — and now they’re worried about a revolution

The mainstream democrats will happily defend this policy, just as they condemned Trump for trying to get out of Syria.

Strange days indeed.


Here’s a related comment (very slightly edited) i just posted in another thread, and then realized that thread was seven days old:

If anyone thinks that the predatory colonizing “investor-owned, limited-liability” “corporate person” will ever NOT seek to colonize, own, license, patent, control, market, sell, and extract profit from ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, they do not understand the intentional structural function of the corporation. Also the way this predatory colonizing structural function, meshes so well with the diseased, hubristic, narcissistic, sociopathic and solipsistic human ego that has emerged from the European liberal enlightenment. (Of course, and not merely co-incidentally, the investor-owned, limited-liability corporation itself emerged from liberalism as well.)

So of course all content on the internet – including all information that should plainly belong to the natural persons and the actual creators who produce such information, including creative works but also all personal data and metadata related to participation in the internet – will be colonized by the “providers,” and only available to specific classes at certain monetary prices, using the threat of denial of access to enforce other “terms of service.”

The question is, how do we resist – not any and every specific advance in colonization / privatization / theft – but the basic structural paradigm itself, the looting and colonization and theft that are built into “the economy” and “the corporation” as they have emerged and evolved under liberalism, capitalism, and neoliberalism?

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Can anyone throw a Monkee Wrench into this process?
Cross your eyes?
Skew your head?
Anything you do will probably just be corrected and then be used to make the system more robust.
We are screwed.

I’m not shocked the government would want to do this, but I am rather shocked that the government already has a complete database on all of our faces in order to make this work.

When and where did they get that!? When and where did they get the authority to accumulate such a database? When and where was the public discussion about the propriety of this being done?

Finally, what else do they have?

It wouldn’t seem to need more than a database of all faces who are flying on Jet Blue. I don’t think it is testing each face against 300+ million records - it probably has side information to reduce the search (or order the search) to find the hit before the entire set is searched. As to where CBP got the data base it is using now, I have no idea - I haven’t been able to figure that out from the stories I’ve skimmed thus far.

We are going to hopefully not lose all battles going forward - I really want Medicare for All and less foreign misadventure. We aren’t going to win all battles though and I don’t see us winning this one at all. Minority Report wasn’t far off.

You guys don’t get out much, huh? We’re just catching up technologically with the rest of the world. MUC has had facial recognition for at least 4 years. Ge off the plane, get into a booth smile and you’re in the European Union.

To answer the author’s question: "So to be clear, the government provided my biometric data to a privately held company? "

You most likely have a biometric passport, which , duh, contains biometric data, including facial recognition. You handed that passport over to the airline when you checked in. The government did not provide any biometric data to the private company. You provided the data and they checked it against a government database.

Now where did the government get the data for your facial recognition? Remember when you applied for or renewed the passport you sent them a picture? Well, the scanner checked your face against that picture and voila, no need to smell the breath of the gate agent :slight_smile:

The algorithms are pretty advanced. Used to be they checked the brightness of different spots on the image so maybe shooting your visage full of novocaine would have helped. In the mean time the computing power increased by a lot and there’s way to many data points to fool. Plus, it isn’t usually a 100% match. The system will fail the test and send you over to a human agent if the confidence level is below a set threshold.

Interestingly the developers being mostly white they used white faces to teach the IAs. The machines have trouble identifying people of color.

This stuff’s been working on bank check images and signatures for years.