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India launches facial recognition-based entry at airports: All you need to know

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Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday, 1 December, launched Digi Yatra for New Delhi, Varanasi and Bengaluru airports for a seamless and hassle-free air travel experience. Digi Yatra is conceived to achieve contactless, seamless processing of passengers at airports based on Facial Recognition Technology (FRT).

With this tech at the airports, passengers would merely have to pass through checkpoints through paperless and contactless processing by establishing their identity through facial recognition. The recognition would be linked to the boarding pass.

How to use the facial recognition facility at airports?

To use this facial recognition facility at the airports, passengers would have to register at the Digi Yatra app. The registration would include Aadhaar-based validation and a self-image capture. The project has tremendous advantages of improving passenger convenience and ease of travel.

The facial recognition facility will be launched at seven airports in the first phase. It was launched at New Delhi, Varanasi and Bengaluru airports on Thursday, 1 December. It would later be launched at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, and Vijayawada airports by March 2023.

Subsequently, the technology would be implemented across the country. Notably, it is presently being launched for domestic flight passengers.

There is no central storage of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The passenger’s ID and travel credentials are stored in a secure wallet on the passenger’s smartphone itself. The uploaded data will utilise blockchain technology, which means that all the data would be purged from the servers within 24 hours of use.

When asked about the privacy of the passengers, Jyotiraditya Scindia said keeping in mind the privacy, there is no central storage of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

(With agency inputs)

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