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AI Facial Recognition to Make Passports Obsolete as UK Airports Embrace Major Change

January 1, 2024

Photo Credit: The Sun


PASSPORTS may no longer be needed at Britain’s borders with advanced facial recognition set to be used to get into the UK.

New e-gates will be introduced at airports under Home Office plans to create “frictionless travel”.

The high-tech arrivals are designed to bring Britain’s border up to a gold standard developed elsewhere.

Dubai uses facial recognition for 50 nationalities while Australia has also installed next-generation e-gates.

Phil Douglas, the director-general of Border Force, said AI would create an “intelligent border” that used “much more frictionless facial recognition than we currently do”.

He told The Times: “We will know a lot more information about people upfront. We will know if they’ve been in the UK before.

“We’ll know what their compliance with immigration laws is. And we’ll know if there’s any records of them on our security systems.

“So there will be some people who won’t be getting on the plane.”

The newspaper also reported that trials for the new technology are set to begin this year.

There are approximately 270 e-gates across the UK which allow faster travel across the border.

It comes as the current patchwork of tourist visa rules are being replaced with a single Electronic Travel Authorisation system.

Under the US-style scheme everyone coming to the UK will pay for a travel pass and fill out a security questionnaire.

Officials started rolling out the scheme in 2023 and it’s set to be fully up and running by the end of 2025.

Meanwhile cross-border digital IDs are currently being put through their paces for the first time, with a view to potentially ditching passports in the future.

Since August 28, 2023, border guards in Finland have been working with a system called Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) at Helsinki Airport.

Between now and February 2024, Finns can download the FIN DTC pilot app on their smartphones and take part in the trial.

They are also required to register with local police and send them their data before they fly.

The trial is only open to Finnish citizens on Finnair flights between Helsinki Airport and London, Edinburgh and Manchester.



Culled from The Sun

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