air travel, eGates, face, Norway, passport

Face recognition passport checks available to Norwegians returning via Oslo

Self-service Passport Control is Introduced The Nordic Page (The Nordic Page)

The technology is based on face recognition and has a two-stage operation. After passing the first gate, traveler’s face is scanned to compare with the picture on the passport. After the image match is completed, the next door is opened and the border control finishes. The process takes about 15 seconds.

This seems like a well-conceived deployment. Using the face photo in the passport document eliminates the need for a huge database of all the passport photos in the world.

Still, there are a couple of things account for.

For passports without a chip, it it is possible that clumsier fakes involving switched passport photos would pass an automated screening than would pass a human inspection. For chip-based passports, comparing the picture on the chip with the picture on the document would account for this (or make such a fake a whole lot more difficult).

There is also the question of passport chip adoption and interoperability. Not every current passport is an ePassport and not every ePassport can be read by every other country. For these reasons, the new service is only available to Norwegians.

It makes sense to move incrementally on these things and to tackle challenges a few at a time.

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