Air Canada Is Launching Facial Recognition For Some Flights

It's part of a pilot program that could expand.

Staff Writer
A person boards an Air Canada flight using the airline's new digital identification methods.

A person boards an Air Canada flight using the airline's new digital identification methods.

Air Canada has just launched a new form of digital identification on select flights, introducing face recognition for passengers flying to Winnipeg from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The airline plans to expand digital identification options in other airports and lounges as the pilot project continues.

"Many of our customers already utilize digital credentials to simplify their daily activities such as unlocking mobile phones, entering workplaces, verifying identification during financial transactions and more," Air Canada COO Craig Landry said in a press release. "We are very excited to now take a leadership position in Canada and test digital identification using facial recognition technology to validate customer identification quickly, securely and accurately at select airport touchpoints."

He also emphasized that "participation in digital identification is voluntary."

Eligible customers are able to use facial recognition technology to confirm their identity when boarding certain flights to Winnipeg from YVR, and when entering the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

If you'd rather not scan your face, you can still board as usual with a boarding pass and government-issued photo ID. According to Air Canada, instructions for creating and using your unique face print are given to eligible passengers ahead of their flights.

The feature is a part of the Air Canada app and all biometric data is said to be encrypted and stored on each user's phone. There's an additional request for consent for that data to be used on the date of their travel, and this personal information is only stored for 36 hours, the company says

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.
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