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Air Canada piloting facial recognition tech at Vancouver International Airport

Flyers headed to Winnipeg can have machine verify their identity when boarding

Certain flyers headed out of the Vancouver International Airport now have the option to have their identity verified by a machine instead of a person prior to boarding.

Air Canada announced the launch of its pilot facial recognition project Tuesday (Feb. 21). So far, it’s only available for people flying on some flights from Vancouver to Winnipeg and customers using the Air Canada Cafe in Toronto, but the airline says it plans to expand the technology.

The hope, Air Canada says, is to create a speedy and accurate new system.

“Many of our customers already utilize digital credentials to simplify their daily activities such as unlocking mobile phones, entering workplaces, verifying identification during financial transactions and more,” Craig Landry, executive vice president and chief operations officer, said in a statement.

Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said he sees great potential in the project in making gate boarding easier and faster.

Customers flying on select flights from Vancouver to Winnipeg will receive an invitation to use the facial recognition option. If they choose to, they’ll have to create a digital face-print on the Air Canada app prior to arriving at YVR.

Air Canada says the data will be encrypted and only stored on the person’s phone. It will only be kept for 36 hours.

Flyers who don’t want to use the new technology can board like usual.

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Black Press Media Staff

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