“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.” – Joseph Goebbels
Pinch me, I’m dreaming. And it’s a nightmare.
“One look and you’re in.”
The large Delta stand-up sign with this slogan stands proudly beside an array of computerized airport check-in kiosks. Next to the computers is the snaking line for the antiquated or unfortunate few who await personal attention from a harried airline employee.
“One look and you’re in.”
That’s right. Just gaze into the magic mirror and you may pass to the next TSA security checkpoint with no human interaction at all – “from curb to gate.” (Of course, there’s still a line to get to an available kiosk.)
In the latest infringement of private security and civil rights disguised as efficient assistance, passengers on Delta Air Lines may “opt-in” for facial recognition screening to “speed up” the check-in and onboarding system. But get this: time saved by self-identifying with a facial scan is a scant two seconds at the boarding gate!
Gil West is Delta’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). The COO in an organization is the person who is in charge of running daily operations. Usually, the role is technical and managerial. However, West issued a public relations statement to ease everyone’s minds. Only our best interests are at heart, according to the Delta spokesman:
“We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure – which means we’re giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about while empowering our employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers.”
“Empowering” is a powerful propaganda Newspeak buzzword that actually means the opposite of what it pretends to mean. There is nothing empowering about willfully helping or accepting an authoritarian identification-checking system. All power lies with the authorities, not the consenting consumer.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Delta Air Lines is thrilled to roll out this new technology which can shave nine precious minutes off the boarding time for a wide-body aircraft. Those two seconds per passenger do add up.
Nine minutes may not seem like a big deal to you, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) charges air carriers each time a plane “pushes” – leaves the gate – late. These fees cost the airlines billions of dollars every year, so it’s no wonder that Delta execs are sugar-coating this Orwellian technology to con the public into accepting it without a second thought.
So far, everything is proceeding according to the New World Order Security State plan.
In October 2018, Delta began testing its biometric check-in kiosks at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. On December 1, “all Delta passengers traveling on flights to international destinations will be able to take advantage of the biometric options for all parts of their journey when departing from the airport’s Terminal F.”
Since only 2 percent of Delta’s Atlanta passengers declined to take advantage of the opportunity to surrender all their privacy and voluntarily submit to a facial scan – which helps build facial recognition databases by adding new data points as faces change over time – the airline plans to expand the program to Detroit.
The Delta biometric system is elegant in its simplicity. Passengers either enter their passport information online to check in or scan the passport at the airport. The automated kiosk displays the option to “Look” during the check-in procedure. When selected, the customer’s facial scan is compared to passport or visa images in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection database.
For those people strong enough to resist the urge to trade their privacy for two extra seconds of time waiting for something else to happen, Delta attempts to wear down weary travelers by offering the opt-in at every possible opportunity. The enticing sign is planted as people “approach the camera at the counter in the lobby, the TSA checkpoint or when boarding at the gate,” according to Delta.
Delta has announced its plans to continue the facial recognition check-in scam with international partners on board – so to speak:
“The option also will be available to international passengers flying nonstop from Atlanta on Delta’s partner airlines Aeromexico, Air France-KLM or Virgin Atlantic.”
Delta officials claim the traveling public has provided only positive feedback about saving a few seconds of time while also avoiding all human interaction with airline employees during the entire check-in and flight loading. But then, what else could Delta say – that people are recoiling in horror at the erosion of their civil rights?
The American people (and our traveling guests) have swallowed the national security con hook, line, and sinker. “Nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process, with less than 2 percent opting out,” said Delta in a press statement.
Chad Newton is the interim CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority that is in charge of the Detroit airport. This aviation official invoked deep patriotic emotions when he proclaimed:
“It is a great honor for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to become one of the nation’s first biometric terminals. We look forward to partnering with Delta, CBP and TSA to provide passengers with the option to utilize facial recognition throughout their entire travel process.”
Honor?? What in the world does honor have to do with airport efficiency at the cost of personal privacy? This is propaganda, pure and simple.
Delta has assured everyone that a biometric scan in order to board one of their airplanes is completely optional. “If customers do not want to participate, they just proceed normally, as they’ve always done, through the airport.”
Sure it is. Today.
But what about tomorrow – and the next day? Will the airlines say that the silly, paranoid two-in-one-hundred passengers do not justify the extra expense of hiring human agents to deal with the nonconformists?
Delta’s Gil West had this to say about the brave new future world:
“Launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we’re bringing the future of flying to customers traveling around the globe. Customers have an expectation that experiences along their journey are easy and happen seamlessly – that’s what we’re aiming for by launching this technology across airport touch points.”
David Pekoske, representing TSA, gave a more accurate glimpse into the national security mindset and it isn’t good for you and me:
“The expansion of biometrics and facial recognition throughout the airport environment represents the next generation of security identification technology.”
Doomsday speculation aside, what really could possibly go wrong with an airport system dependent on facial scanning to get passengers from the curb to a seat on a plane? Believe it or not, there is a Quartz list of airline glitches (failures).
What has Delta been up to? So glad you asked. Here are three examples of how technology dependence can really louse things up:
- On April 4, 2017, storms around Atlanta shut down Delta’s crew-scheduling computer system, causing “days of operational issues.” Flight staff was stranded, unable to access internal systems. The crew-scheduling phone system reported hours-long wait times.
- On February 8, 2017, hundreds of Delta flights were delayed after a system-wide malfunction made it impossible for the airline to create flight plans for their staff. Some passengers endured hours-long delays or “boarded flights only to be asked to deplane when the issue presented itself.” The problem was traced to Sabre, Delta’s reservation and operations systems provider.
- On January 29, 2017, at least 170 Delta flights were delayed due to a systems failure. The airline issued a ground stop to its fleet, halting all take-offs and preventing deplaning from flight arrivals since many gates were jammed with people waiting to debark. Overnight, Delta canceled about 80 flights for the following day. Customers were denied access to Delta’s website or accurate flight information.
So here we have a quasi-competent airline and a dodgy transportation security administration in cahoots with other federal and international government and private organizations, all intent on using “gentle persuasion” to convince the unsuspecting public to accept yet another chip off the block of civic integrity and human rights.
Does this remind you of anything?
“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes can be reversed.” – Adolf Hitler