The following announcement has been made by the UK Border Agency:
The UK Border Agency has responded to claims in the media that the use of new facial recognition gates at Manchester Airport has compromised security.
Under a trial currently under way at the airport, the gates are used by passengers who are nationals of the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA). The trial forms part of the Agency’s range of measures to strengthen the UK border.
A spokesperson for the UK Border Agency said:
“We can categorically confirm that the gates are making the same high level of checks on the British and EEA passengers using them as they were when the trials began in August last year.
“Facial recognition gates use scanning equipment to compare the faces of UK and EEA passengers to their biometric passports, providing high security with quicker check times at immigration control.
“Previous tests show that they system can reliably pick out impostors and even distinguish between identical twins. An immigration officer supervises the whole process and will intervene where necessary.”
Neither the software nor the machines have been recalibrated or changed since the trial began in August 2008.