Next time you go to an airport in Europe you may want to make sure you have your story straight.
According to USA Today, a new project called iBorderCtrl will install lie detectors at border checkpoints in Hungary, Latvia, and Greece this month for beta testing. Travelers from countries outside the European Union will be subjected to the lie detectors, answering questions via webcam.
The lie detectors, USA Today reported, work by analyzing microexpressions to gauge their truthfulness using artificial intelligence. Human administrators, i.e., border guards, will also be present in case a security risk is detected.
According to CNN, passengers who are deemed “low-risk” will only have to answer basic information questions like name, date of birth, and their reason for travel. Those who are deemed “high-risk” travelers will be asked additional questions. It is not clear what constitutes a low or high-risk traveler.
This technology is yet another progression in airport security, much like facial recognition for check-ins and security lines. However, critics argue it’s treating passengers like criminals without justifiable cause. For now, passengers must give written consent before they are subjected to the tests, CNN reported.
Keeley Crockett of Manchester Metropolitan University in England, who is involved in the project, told CNN he “[doesn’t] believe that you can have a 100 percent accurate system.”
Additionally, Frederike Kaltheuner, data program lead at Privacy International, told CNN it was flat out a “terrible idea” since lie detectors have a problematic past when it comes to law enforcement, often leading to convictions of innocent people.
Many lie detectors can detect a false positive if an honest person is anxious or a dishonest person is calm. Research from the American Psychological Association found that “there is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception.”
The project hopes to achieve an 85 percent success rate, but Kaltheuner believes that number isn’t good enough.
“Even seemingly small error rates mean that thousands of people now have to prove that they are honest people, just because some software said they are liars,” he told CNN.