From [HERE] U.S. airlines use cameras to capture the faces of fliers and are giving the images to the government.
JetBlue started using customers’ biometric data, unique physical traits, in June to let them get on flights from Boston to Aruba without a boarding pass. At the same time, JetBlue started sending the data to Customs and Border Protection so the government could vet travelers. Delta is currently in discussions with CBP to do the same.
Even Homeland Security concedes airlines may use this for purposes other than ID checks.
“There is a risk that approved partners will use biometric images collected under the [service] for a purpose other than identity verification,” CBP said in a June privacy impact assessment (PDF).
CBP says it keeps all photos for up to 14 days for the time being during the trial, but biographical information associated with the photos, like passport numbers and dates of birth, is retOptionsained 15 years for U.S. citizens and 75 years for foreigners. The agency recommends partner airlines and contractors delete pictures within 14 days, but says the companies may choose to keep them longer “for business purposes,” the assessment states.
“Airlines are doing their own independent biometric-type services for checking bags, for boarding the plane, access to their lounges,” John Wagner, CBP deputy executive assistant commissioner of field operations, told privacy activists last week. [MORE]