TSA PreCheck®: Touchless Identity Solution
- TSA is using facial identification to verify a passenger’s identity at its security checkpoints using the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Traveler Verification Service (TVS), which creates a secure biometric template of a passenger’s live facial image taken at the checkpoint and matches it against a gallery of templates of pre-staged photos that the passenger previously provided to the government (e.g., U.S. Passport or Visa). This is an optional process for passengers, who may opt-out of the process at any time and instead choose the standard identity verification by a Transportation Security Officer (TSO).
- TSA and CBP are also allowing airport and airline partners to request the use of TVS for identity verification under an established TSA process outlined in 49 U.S.C. § 114.1. These partners purchase camera equipment in order to take photos of voluntary passengers at airport baggage drop and boarding locations for transmission to TVS, which creates biometric templates of these photos and compares them against templates of existing DHS holdings as described above.
- Visit Air | CBP Biometrics for more information on locations in which TSA PreCheck®: Touchless Identity Solution is now LIVE using CBP’s TVS.
- For more information regarding privacy and security protections that have been implemented by TSA, please see TSA’s Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs).
Current Airport Field Demonstrations
- TSA and CBP, in collaboration with Delta Air Lines, began field demonstrations of the TSA PreCheck®: Touchless Identity Solution for Trusted Travelers (e.g., TSA PreCheck and CBP Global Entry members) at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) in March 2021 and at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in June 2022. These demonstrations explore interoperability between TSA’s Secure Flightsystem and CBP’s TVS to verify a passenger’s identity at the TSA checkpoint. The technology compares biometric templates of passenger’s live photos to a pre-staged gallery of existing passport or visa photo templates.
- As part of its on-going efforts to enhance the identity verification of passengers by using facial identification technology at airports, TSA looks to continue to expand this technology to additional airports with new airline partners at checkpoints, bag drop and boarding areas for testing and evaluation purposes.
- During the airline partner’s mobile app check-in process, the specified airline notifies eligible passengers of the opportunity to opt-in (provide consent) to participate in the field demonstration. For those passengers who opt-in, the airline provides a consent indicator on their mobile boarding pass. Passengers who choose not to opt-in will not receive a consent indicator and are not eligible to participate in this field demonstration.
- For the facial identification field demonstration, CBP pre-stages biometric templates of photos that the passenger previously provided to the government, compares them with their templates created from live photos taken at the TSA checkpoint, bag drop or boarding location and returns the match results. Consenting passengers can opt-out of having their photo taken at any point. However, their previously provided photo template may still be staged in the gallery.
Data to be Collected
- Only during the field demonstration data collection efforts, TSA collects a live photograph of the passenger, passport number, known traveler number, transactional metadata (e.g., transaction ID, timestamps, quality scores), and the match results.
- TSA converts the information into an anonymized format, encrypts it, and transfers it for temporary analysis to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), which assesses the effectiveness of this biometric field demonstration. DHS deletes the data within 180 days.
- For more information on the data collected during this field demonstration, please see DHS/TSA/PIA-046 Travel Document Checker Automation Using Facial Identification.
Privacy Act Notice
- Should you choose to opt-in to the TSA facial identification field demonstration, TSA will collect your data as described above for the purposes of identity verification, enhancing transportation security, and testing the effectiveness of facial identification under the authority of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.
- Providing this information is voluntary. However, if you do not choose to submit it, you will proceed through the manual identity verification process. TSA may share information that you provide with CBP, DHS S&T, or others as necessary under the published System of Records Notice (SORN) - DHS/TSA-001 Transportation Security Enforcement Record System.
- For more information on DHS/TSA Privacy policies or to view the PIA and SORN, please see the DHS Privacy website.