Dubai Airport, the busiest for international travel, is already renowned for its services. Now a feature has been added that looks nothing short of sci-fi. Here iris scanners have been installed for identity verification upon arrival and departure in the country. This contactless technology is being promoted to reduce human-to-human interaction between the corona virus outbreak and to make advanced use of artificial intelligence. This service has been launched since last month. Now, in seconds, passengers are released after completing passport control work.
A few seconds of work
Iris data is combined with the country’s facial recognition database so travelers don’t even need an ID card or boarding pass. Data integration is collaborative between Emirates and Dubai immigration officers and is done in one go from check-in to boarding. According to Emirates’ biometric privacy statement, the faces of airline passengers are associated with their personal identification data, including passport and flight information, and this data is retained for as long as necessary.
Surveillance or not?
A discussion on monitoring has also started regarding this technique. The UAE has been accused of targeting journalists and human rights activists. In this way, privacy is threatened by data collection. Emirates did not give much information on how to store and use the data in its statement, but said non-face data can be used in other Emirates systems. At the same time, Major General Obaid Maheer bin Suroor, deputy director of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs, claims that the Dubai Immigration Office protects the personal data of travelers so that no third parties can see them.
Do not abuse
Experts suspect the use of biometric technology and misuse of storage. Jonathan Frankel, an artificial intelligence student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says surveillance technology is feared no matter where it is in the country. However, in a democratic country there would be transparency, at least a chance for public discussion. Iris scans have been in circulation in recent years in many countries. Previously, there had been a lot of controversy over the accuracy of facial recognition and its use without permission.