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The Silicon Review Asia

Sydney airport tests facial scanning to replace passport check-ins

Sydney airport tests facial scanning to replace passport check-ins

Sydney airport is set to begin testing the facial recognition program, with a view to replacing physical passports for check-ins. Starting this week, Qantas is to commence trials on passengers for select flights into Sydney. This could pave the way for total replacement of the traditional paper passports.

We’ve worked with Qantas from the outset and are delighted to be partnering with them as we try this technology,” Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said in a statement to the media. “In the future, there will be no more juggling passports and bags at check-in and digging through pockets or smartphones to show your boarding pass,” he added. “Your face will be your passport and your boarding pass at every step of the process.” 

While many welcome this initiative, some in the government and the public are skeptical about this move with an emphasis on security and certain privacy concerns. The facial recognition system is still in its early stages and will require significant time and fine-tuning before it is implemented completely. This is a highly ambitious plan, given the fact that Sydney receives over 40 million visitors annually.

Certain experts called for the facial recognition systems to be implemented in malls, public areas as well as stadiums, in order to bring greater efficiency to anti-terrorism measures. Using this technology, the Australian government intends to automate check-ins, boarding and lounge access for passengers and also streamline customs processing.  

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