Airport officers in Michigan are using a helmet that can scan body temperatures from 21 feet away. However, the “Smart Helmet,” as it is called, is raising privacy concerns as it has facial recognition capabilities.
Smart Helmet is developed by KeyBiz, a tech company based in Italy. Bishop International Airport is the first business to deploy helmets in the United States. Officers say they will use it to scan passengers’ temperatures in an effort to “reduce the spread” of the coronavirus.
“The helmet is the first mobile platform of its kind, allowing our police officers the flexibility to walk the terminal building and randomly screen both incoming and outgoing passengers,” said Nino Sapone, the Director of Bishop International Airport.
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The helmet can scan temperatures from a distance of 21 feet. If a passenger has a temperature of more than 100.4, they will be escorted to the ticket counter, where the airport employees will determine if they are too sick to fly. If someone is not a passenger, they will be asked to leave, after some contact tracing to determine where they have been.
The helmets are already in use in other airports around the globe, including Rome. It has facial recognition capabilities that provide the officer with additional information. The officer can see if an individual has any criminal history or if they have any outstanding warrants.
The fact that it can provide all that information without consent and officers can perform such searches without probable cause could be considered an invasion of privacy.
The lockdowns have largely given tech companies and governments more justification to collect data without regard for privacy.