Star Alliance has launched a new facial recognition system to improve the passenger experience for its frequent flyers.
Star Alliance Biometrics allows passengers to use facial recognition biometrics to pass through security and boarding gates in a touchless manner.
Lufthansa Group airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS, will be the first to use Star Alliance Biometrics. They will use it for selected flights from Frankfurt and Munich starting in November.
The system uses facial recognition to track enrolled passengers. Importantly in COVID-19 times, passengers do not need to remove the mask for the biometric checks to work.
When an enrolled passenger travels through a participating airport and on a participating airline,
Star Alliance Biometrics matches the live image captured at the touchpoint to the boarding pass information and biometric profile.
The secure service is available at no cost to members of the Miles & More program who have consented to share their biometric data with stakeholders of their choice during travel.
In the near future the range of process points will be gradually expanded – for example to
baggage drop-off and business lounge.
Miles & More members will have the option to enrol in Star Alliance Biometrics, accessed via a link within the Lufthansa app. Passengers take a selfie, verify their identity by scanning their passport, and opt-in to the airlines and airports where they want to use the service.
They only need to enrol once and can then use their biometrics data multiple times at touchpoints of any participating airport whenever they travel with a Star Alliance member airline who has implemented Star Alliance Biometrics.
Data privacy and security
Personal data, such as photo and other identification details, are encrypted and safely stored within the platform. Storage of personal data is kept to a minimum – for example, no passenger names are stored.
Star Alliance encrypts and stores the passenger profiles and data in a Microsoft Azure Cloud
hosted in Europe. The data is subject to and protected by EU privacy laws. Airlines and airports will
not have access to passenger biometric profile data.
The Star Alliance Biometrics service is built on NEC Corporation’s NEC I:Delight biometric and identity management platform software.
N.B. Image credit: Lufthansa