Airports Implementing Lie Detector Tests as Screening Measure

Airports Implementing Lie Detector Tests as Screening Measure

Airports on the border of non-EU nations will be including lie detector tests in their security screenings.

You thought you'd seen it all at the airport security checkpoint. From automatic rotating bins to futuristic 3D bag screening traveler screenings have become a bit of a grab bag when it comes to what you might find between the airport lobby and the secured gate areas. Now, especially across the pond, you can expect to administered a lie detector test powered by artificial intelligence—in addition to normal screening routines.

A new European Union-backed project called, iBorderCtrl, will install lie detector tests at border checkpoints in Hungary, Latvia and Greece—three countries that border non-EU nations—for a test this month. 

The program works as so: travelers from outside the EU will answer questions from a computer-animated border guard through a webcam about their basic information during the lie-detection process. 

"It will ask the person to confirm their name, age and date of birth, and it will ask them things like what the purpose of their trip is and who is funding the trip," Keeley Crockett, one of the experts involved in the project told CNN about the screening process.

A press release about the program states the virtual board guard will analyze the traveler's micro-expressions to gauge whether they may be lying, with human border guards overseeing the entire process and stepping in if a security risk is detected.

Some experts have doubts about the experiment, arguing that passengers will simply be more mindful of their physical cues while continuing to lie during the process.

"If you ask people to lie, they will do it differently and show very different behavioral cues than if they truly lie, knowing that they may go to jail or face serous consequences if caught," Imperial College London's Maja Pantic told the New Scientist. "This is a known problem in psychology."


About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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