MWAA sells facial recognition system to Pangiam
VeriScan provides security for more than 40 airlines
VeriScan, a facial-recognition system developed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, has been sold to Alexandria-based Pangiam, a security and travel services provider, the company announced Friday. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
More than 40 airlines use veriScan’s traveler verification system, which is an integrated biometric facial recognition program that debuted in 2018 at Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports, which MWAA oversees. MWAA developed the technology in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the system was sold to other airports beginning in 2018. According to Pangiam’s news release, 1.3 million passengers have been processed by veriScan since 2018, with 99% accuracy.
Although facial recognition programs have become commonplace at airports, there has been considerable controversy over the technology’s use elsewhere, particularly by police. Some states, including Massachusetts, have started passing regulations that limit the use of facial recognition technology, and the American Civil Liberties Union has called for the Biden administration to halt its use, calling it a “threat to civil rights and civil liberties when it works, and when it doesn’t.”
Pangiam’s purchase of veriScan is its first acquisition since the merger of Alexandria software company Linkware LLC and Pangiam, which were purchased by Florida-based private equity firm AE Industrial Partners LP in November. The combined entity now operates as Pangiam in the commercial space, and the Linkware brand is still used for government customers.