Facial recognition is coming to DTW


The controversial facial recognition technology is coming to the metro Detroit airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the software would be rolled out to DTW to verify travelers. While the technology is only used on international arrivals, travelers are allowed to opt out of the process if they wish..

Called Simplified Arrival processes, it's meant to speed up arrival and departures.

"Facial comparison technology is used because it seamlessly integrates into the airport environment and is easy to use for travelers and facilitates the flow of legitimate travel," wrote Customs in a news release.

A topic with a lot of baggage, facial recognition has become a hotbed issue for many Detroit residents, who fear the police department's use of the software will lead to an infringement on privacy - and isn't very accurate when identifying people of interest. While Detroit Police Chief James Craig has touted its ability to aid officers in making arrests, many believe more harm and good will come of its implementation. 

Recently, the Police Board of Commissioners gave their blessing for the technology, voting 8-3 in favor of it.

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As for Customs and Border Protection's implementation, the biometric scanner takes photos of every international traveler before entry or exit. Those photos are compared with other imagery on passports, visas and other travel documents. Every photo taken is deleted after 12 hours.