If you’re flying internationally out of Miami International Airport (MIA), you’ll soon be able to keep that passport in your pocket when you’re going through boarding.

Miami soon will be the first U.S. airport to use biometric boarding at all of its international gates, MIA announced Tuesday.

Rather than showing your passport to head past the counter and onto the plane, passengers will be instantly identified with the touchless click of a camera.

However, this move worries critics could erode personal privacy.

Here’s a press release from Miami International Airport:

Passengers departing from Miami International Airport will soon be able to board their international flights with just the quick, touchless click of a camera, thanks to a recently approved contract that will implement biometric boarding at all of MIA’s 130-plus gates.

Installation is expected to be fully completed in 2023. When finished, the project will be the largest implementation of biometric technology at any U.S. airport.

More details of this story from Biometric Update:

The project will incorporate the SITA Smart Path that allows passengers to use their face biometrics as a boarding pass using technology from NEC. MIA says it will merely require passengers to step in front of a camera at a boarding gate and have their identity verified.

The airport expects all of its 130-plus gates to have the biometric boarding systems installed by 2023. Ralph Cutié, director and CEO of MIA, says, “We look forward to elevating our passenger experience with this state-of-the-art boarding solution.  MIA is now the busiest U.S. airport for international travel and continues to set new records each month for passenger growth. Biometric boarding is one of the major steps we are taking to pave the way for additional growth in the years to come.”

“Globally we see that passengers want a faster journey through the airport where key steps in the journey are automated,” SITA Americas President Matthys Serfontein comments. “Our Smart Path biometric solution will enable future expansion to other touchpoints at MIA as well as the use of multiple forms of digital identity.”

MIA’s Maurice Jenkins, who recently joined a panel with CBP and Idemia representatives to discuss the future of airport biometrics, explains in a video that while the airport has already reached full biometric identity verification coverage for arriving international flights, it will not extend the service to outbound international flights.

The growing adoption of biometric technology across industries, most notably with COVID-19 vaccine passports, has caused many conservatives to raise the alarm that such technology could be manipulated to strip away fundamental freedoms and privacy.

Sources: WLT, Miami International Airport, Biometric Update

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