Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Ceisteanna (562)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

562. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if data held by the State is provided to private air carriers or airports for use in facial scanners in operation in airports here; if so, the nature and source of the data; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37518/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I can confirm to the Deputy that no data held by the State is supplied to private air carriers or airports for use in facial scanners in operation in Ireland’s airports.

I understand that Dublin Airport is at present trialling facial recognition for certain departing flights which involves the biometric data already stored on a chip in a passenger’s passport being linked to their boarding card and baggage tag. This is a closed system and does not involve the transfer or retention of any data. This information is used only for the purposes of boarding a particular flight. Facial recognition technology then cross-references the data at the gate, helping to speed up the passenger's journey.

Facial recognition is also employed at US Preclearance in Dublin and Shannon Airports to verify the identity of travellers about to enter the United States. I can confirm that no data held by the Irish State is supplied to anyone for use in this process.