Even as late as May 2017, CBP recognized that its power to verify the identification of travelers was limited to those entering or leaving the country. But the TSA Modernization Act would allow CBP and TSA to collect any biometrics they want from all travelers—international and domestic—wherever they are in the airport. That’s a big change and one we shouldn’t take lightly. Private implementation of face recognition at airports only makes this more ominous.
This vast data collection will also create a huge security risk. As we saw with the 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach and the 2017 Equifax breach, no government agency or private company is capable of fully protecting your private and sensitive information. But losing your social security or credit card numbers to fraud is nothing compared to losing your biometrics. While you can change those numbers, you can’t easily change your face.