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Brussels Airport to scrap facial recognition enabled e-gates as the system was ‘constantly defective’: Report

Less than 5 years after installing them, the Brussels Airport will scrap its electronic passport gates because they keep malfunctioning, Belgian outlet De Standaard reported. The automated gates use face recognition technology to compare each passenger with their passport photo, and open if there is a match. The e-gates, which were first installed in July 2015, reportedly cost €2.4 million. However, the gates were reportedly found to be “constantly defective”, and in one case, allowed a female passenger to go through even though she had scanned her husband’s passport. Police unions in the country have reportedly called the gates “a waste of taxpayers’ money”. These gates will be replaced with a “more efficient system”, according to the report. However, it is unclear what the new solution would be, and how long it will take to implement. This development comes after the European Union reportedly plans to backtrack on its initial plan of placing a five year moratorium on government use of facial recognition technology. Facial recognition systems build in CCTV cameras, which are separate from the e-gates, were installed at the Brussels Airport in 2019, but the Police Information Inspectorate reportedly ordered the suspension of the project since it was in conflict with Belgian laws. How does the current system work? The current system requires passengers to walk through the entrance gate, and insert their passport intoslots in the gate. (There are different slots for EU passports and Belgian Identity Cards as they use different technologies.) Following that, a facial recognition camera…

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