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  • Testing equipment to make Heathrow faster and safer 

    Heathrow Departures, until April 2020

    We're running a series of tests and assessments on biometric cameras and face-recognition systems.

    The tests, which run until April of 2020, are voluntary, and we will request your consent to take part as required. If you don't want to take part, just let us know.

    Some tests are helping us automate systems which will make Heathrow faster and more efficient. Others are helping us make Heathrow safer.

    The assessments will take place in various locations and at different times. If you come across one when you next travel through Heathrow, we will be there to answer your questions

    Your data and privacy

    UK Border Force already uses biometric data and facial-recognition software at Heathrow for immigration purposes, for example in our e-gates for arrivals, and for domestic travellers departing from Heathrow.

    For those passengers travelling on US bound flights, your facial biometric image will be captured and shared with the US Customs and Boarder Protection’s (CBP) Traveller Verification Service. This image will be used for an attempted match against a gallery of passenger images for your flight populated from an existing database. The match attempt will determine whether the passengers can proceed at that touch point. CBP will immediately dispose of images following the completion of any match attempt. 

    The current tests do not link with any existing systems. We are using the data we capture to evaluate the performance of biometric equipment and processes. All data gathered from the passenger will be held and destroyed within 30 days and not shared with any third parties.

    Should an individual wish to exercise their right to access their personal data or have their data deleted, or if you have any questions about the use of your information, before or after you travel, please email privacy@heathrow.com.