Last Updated on May 20, 2022
The Trudeau government has been working with airlines to consider requiring “biometric data” such as facial recognition for air travel within Canada.
According to Canada’s official government newspaper, government officials detailed how the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness discussed the proposed requirements during an air travel stakeholder exercise.
“In accordance with (Public Safety’s) Forward Regulatory Plan 2021–2023, the need to update the (Secure Air Travel Regulations) to offer more options to travelers and the industry to meet pre-aircraft boarding identity verification requirements through innovation was also considered during the stakeholder consultation exercises,” said the statement in the Canada Gazette.
“This includes digitized identification documents, digital identity documents and biometric travel documents,” the statement continued.
“Biometric travel documents” were defined by Public Safety as “electronic identification documents that use biometric identifiers (such as facial recognition)” among other things.
In addition, government officials said in the statement that four unidentified airlines were planning to implement “innovative identity management solutions” in the near future.
“While four air carriers confirmed their intent to implement innovative identity management solutions in the short to medium term, no specific immediate change has been identified for the (Secure Air Travel Regulations),” the statement continued.
“While four air carriers confirmed their intent to implement innovative identity management solutions in the short to medium term, no specific immediate change has been identified for the (Secure Air Travel Regulations),” the statement claimed.
Canada has been testing facial recognition technology in airports since 2016, according to a report from The Globe and Mail. Trudeau’s government secretly scanned the faces of millions of unsuspecting travelers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in 2016, the report stated.
Canada has maintained strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements even though the bulk of the western world has scrapped such measures. At least two doses of a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson injection, is required for air travel in the country. Newly arrived travelers are also required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.