Sydney Airport to trial biometric boarding

Image Source: SMH/Shutterstock

Australia’s largest airport has anounced a biometrics trial that would see Qantas international passengers only need to show their passport once.

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, told media, “There will be no more fumbling for your passport and boarding pass for each step of the process…instead your face will be your passport and your boarding pass at every stage of the journey. This is going to make for a faster, less stressful journey for all our customers who get involved in the trial. You can check in via your smartphone while sitting on your couch at home. All of this is designed to provide customers with a better experience.”

The trial, which starts in May, will see Qantas passengers that want to be a part of the trial pass through bag drop, border processing, security screening, airport lounge and boarding gate after only showing their passport once. participants will need to register with Australian Border Force to take part in the program. If the trial is succesful it could be extended to other airlines at the airport.

No details have been released as to what information will need to be provided by passengers in order to take part in the program. “The airport would ensure that ‘relevant privacy issues are managed.'”

Uri Gal, a Sydney University associate professor, who specialises in data privacy, told the Sydney Morning Herald “it raised serious questions about how and where ‘very sensitive’ personal data was stored, and whether adequate safeguards were in place to ensure it was not hacked or used by third parties for profit.

‘My face belongs to me, just as my browsing data belongs to me. The nature of the data that is collected is quite sensitive because it is facial recognition data. We have the right [as individuals] to call the shots with who can get access to private data [about ourselves].'”

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