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Air Canada launches facial recognition technology

Air Canada announced the implementation of digital identification technology, becoming the first airline in the country approved to offer customers the security and convenience of a new option that uses facial recognition technology. In an ongoing pilot project, Air Canada Digital ID is now available to customers departing from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) when boarding select flights to Winnipeg, and to eligible customers to enter the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Air Canada plans to expand digital identification options to select Canadian airports and Maple Leaf Lounges as part of its pilot project phase. “We are excited to now take a leadership position in Canada and test digital identification using facial recognition technology to quickly, securely and accurately validate customer identification at select airport touchpoints. Participation in digital identification is voluntary. Customers who choose to use digital ID will benefit from a streamlined and seamless process at the gate and entering our Maple Leaf Lounges,” said Craig Landry, Air Canada Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Meanwhile, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transportation for the Government of Canada, said Air Canada's pilot project will streamline processes at YVR, and at other airports where it is established, while adhering to strong privacy measures and security regulations. "This project has great potential to facilitate and expedite the boarding of Canadian passengers, while maintaining strict security measures," he added. Customers who do not wish to use digital ID will be able to board simply as they do now, presenting their boarding pass and a government-issued photo ID for manual ID screening and processing. In addition, customers can continue to manually scan their boarding passes as they do now to enter Toronto Pearson's Air Canada Café.

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