By Libby Rozbruch
Libby Rozbruch is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Psychology.
Earlier last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) teamed up with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to deploy facial recognition and biometric technology at one checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport for 30 days.  Many U.S. travelers will undoubtedly value this new technology, since using biometrics throughout airport checkpoints rather than IDs and boarding passes makes the travel process shorter and more efficient.  However, travelers should consider the implications of this technology. TSA’s latest proposal reveals that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to collect travelers’ facial and iris scans on a nationwide scale, which poses a serious threat to the privacy of innocent Americans. 
The DHS Privacy Impact Assessment bluntly states that “the only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling.”  This is because CBP wants to create a “biometric” pathway to track all travelers – via facial recognition – from check-in, through security, to gates, and onto flights.  hough travelers’ facial and iris scans are typically deleted within 14 days, the agency has the right under the DHS policy to keep them longer if deemed necessary and to share the information with state, local, and federal authorities.  This is perhaps the most concerning part of the plan, as it opens a gateway for DHS data in the hands of third parties.