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Transportation Security Administration

What authority does TSA have with respect to the use of biometric technology, specifically facial recognition?

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), Pub. L. 107-71, gives TSA broad authority to conduct screening of persons and property, and specifically authorizes TSA to use biometric and other technologies. ATSA also authorizes TSA to test new technology and equipment. TSA has authority to establish pilot programs to test new technology to ensure safety and security for the airport, including biometric technology that ensures only authorized access to secure areas. Additionally, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, P.L. 115-254, which incorporated the TSA Modernization Act, directs TSA, in coordination with CBP, to submit a report to appropriate committees of Congress that includes assessments of: the operational and security impact of using biometric technology to identify travelers; the potential effects on privacy of the expansion of biometric technologies, including methods proposed or implemented to mitigate privacy risks; and methods to analyze and address matching errors related to race, gender, or age.