Canadian airports to use facial recognition technology
03 March 2017 15:47 GMT

Travellers arriving at Canadian airports will be able to use face recognition-powered border control at major airports around the country by the end of the year.

A major biometric deployment will see self-service border kiosks brought into the airports to assist with clearance in an effort to advance the system.

The new passenger screening programme is under development by the Canada Border Services Agency.

"The new kiosks will improve border security, as well as assist in reducing wait times and congestion at Canada's busiest airports," a statement from CBSA reads, reported CBC.

The kiosks will begin appearing at Ottawa International Airport this spring, according to multiple sources, and the rollout will continue into 2018, CBSA says.

The Primary Inspection Kiosk (PIK) program, as it is called, has been in the works since at least 2015, and "will provide automated traveller risk assessment" a CBSA tender describing the program reads.

The newspaper reported that the facial recognition feature appears to be similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's 1-to-1 Facial Comparison Project, which uses facial recognition to compare a traveller's face with the image stored on their electronic passport.

In that case, images are not retained unless the two images do not match very well.

CBSA declined to answer specific questions about the PIK program, stating that "further details will be announced publicly before the official launch," with an announcement to follow "in the coming weeks."