Passenger Gets Disturbing Response From Airline After Facial Recognition Check-In


Woman asks questions about airlines face recognitionDeltaNewsDesk/@mackenzie_fegan/Instagram

A conversation between an airline and one of their passengers has gone viral because people are quite frankly creeped out by it.

It all started when a woman contacted JetBlue Airways on social media to ask about their new face recognition boarding technique, which she had some questions about.


Instead of scanning her boarding pass and looking at her passport before allowing her to board the plane, Mackenzie Fegan was shocked when she was asked for neither and instead just had to look into a camera before she was let through to board.

Asking the obvious question, Mackenzie contacted JetBlue Airways to see if facial recognition had replaced boarding passes without her knowledge – and more importantly, without her consent.

Not hesitating in the slightest, the airline responded to say:


You’re able to opt out of this procedure, MacKenzie. Sorry if this made you feel uncomfortable.

Which, y’know, definitely doesn’t answer her question and ultimately raises even more questions than answers. But there you have it.

Mackenzie wasn’t leaving it there and responded with a follow up question, asking how JetBlue knows what she looks like as ‘presumably these facial recognition scanners are matching my image to something in order to verify my identity’.


This is where the conversation gets creepy, with JetBlue responding saying her information is provided by the United States Department of Homeland Security from existing holdings.

Mackenzie, clearly taken aback, responds:

So to be clear, the government provided my biometric data to a privately held company? Did I consent to this? How long is my data held by @JetBlue? And even if I opt out at the scanners…you already have my information, correct?

Here, the airline backtracks slightly by saying the photos aren’t provided to them; instead, they are ‘securely transmitted to the Customs and Border Protection database’ meaning JetBlue does not have direct access to the photos and therefore doesn’t store them.


With Mackenzie only having more questions, the airline directed her to a press release – which she said didn’t really tell her anything about how the process worked.

At this point, JetBlue directed her to another article but again, Mackenzie queried them.

The thread has since gone viral, with many people putting their concerns forward that private companies are able to get their hands on our personal data so easily.



One person said it was ‘unprecedented’ for the government to share this information while another described it as a ‘creepy and unwelcome’ boarding process.

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Topics: Life, Cyber Security, government, Security, Viral


Mackenzie Fegan/Twitter
  1. Mackenzie Fegan/Twitter


Lucy Connolly
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