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To Speed Up Security Lines, Airports Start Tracking Your Smartphone

To Speed Up Security Lines, Airports Start Tracking Your Smartphone
Photograph by Andrew Bret Wallis

Cincinnati’s regional airport will become the first in the U.S. to monitor travelers’ smartphones and other Wi-Fi-equipped gadgets to identify congested areas swiftly and display wait times for the security checkpoint.

The idea is that tracking traffic flows and analyzing data quickly will help airports and the Transportation Security Administration reduce or eliminate problem spots. Cincinnati’s airport, which has suffered a steep and steady slide in passenger traffic since 2008, will also try to use the data to increase retail sales in the terminal. There might be advantages for travelers, too, such as more accurate wait times posted at customs lines or check-in desks.