Hawaii Moves Forward With Facial Recognition Technology

Despite backlash from the American Civil Liberties Union, the state of Hawaii is pushing forward with its plan to install facial recognition technology at five of its airports.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has told state legislators he expects facial imaging to be in place by the end of the year as part of the state’s plan to detect possible coronavirus cases among arriving passengers, according to Travel Weekly.

The facial recognition software will be used in conjunction with temperature screening cameras, which were installed at the airports in August, to help monitor and track arriving passengers to Hawaii. Anyone who registers a temperature above 100.4 degrees is asked to submit to a voluntary secondary screening conducted by paramedics.

Prior to the implementation of the cameras, a state employee had to check each passenger’s temperature individually. The technology is designed to monitor body temperatures even if the subjects are wearing masks and hats.

Hawaii also has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone visiting the island until October 1.

Together, Hawaii is hoping that the quarantine, facial imaging and temperature checks will cut down on the number of airport employees needed to monitor incoming tourists. Screeners can track the passengers who register a temperature that triggers further evaluation. The facial images will only be used at the moment to find the passenger and request they undergo secondary screening and will be deleted shortly after for privacy reasons.

That still isn’t good enough for the ACLU, which has raised constitutional issues with implementing facial recognition.

The five Hawaii airports with the technology are Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Airport; Kahului Airport; Lihue Airport; Ellison Onizuka Kona Airport at Keahole; and Hilo Airport.

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