Heathrow Airport: Biometrics

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Evans of Weardale Lord Evans of Weardale Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the facial recognition technology proposed for use at Heathrow airport; who has the regulatory responsibility for ensuring that technology is effective and meets security requirements; whether such technology is assessed against a set of published standards; and if so, who decides those standards.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government does not require London Heathrow Airport to use facial recognition technology for security checks. London Heathrow Airport has taken a commercial decision to use biometrics to streamline the passenger journey through the airport, however this use of biometrics does not change the security checks that are required to be in place. There are currently no regulations or standards for using facial recognition technology, however airports and other bodies do need to adhere to data protection regulations. The Department regularly discusses and reviews airport security with all regulated UK airports.

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