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Last updated: 8th February 2024
Facial image recognition is an automated way of recognising a human face through technology. It uses biometrics to map unique facial features from a live image and compares it to a previously captured image to verify that the two are the same person.
Facial recognition is perfectly safe and works with adults and children and does not always require glasses and hats to be removed.
We use this system to provide irrefutable evidence that passengers boarding a domestic or CTA* flight are the same individuals who entered the airports international departure lounge.
The following data is captured through a combination of a scan of a passengers Boarding Pass and a facial image being taken:
On the use of facial recognition at the airport we are acting under a published order of the Home Office (Written Notice – Designating the Immigration Control Area Specifying Conditions and Restrictions to be Observed in a Control Area – Immigration Act 1971 Schedule 2 Paragraph 26(3)), the “Written Notice”.
*Common Travel Area (CTA) countries are the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.
Biometric data images will be kept for 48 hours.
Facial image recognition at London Gatwick is not an optional system but further to our obligations pursuant to the Written Notice we operate a “no fly” policy for any passengers who do not go through the facial recognition system in the designated areas.
London Gatwick is concerned with the rights of privacy of all of our customers. We have consulted with the Information Commissioner in relation to use of facial image recognition at the airport and will use all efforts to ensure that your rights as a valued customer are protected.