Digital privacy campaigners express strong condemnation towards Ryanair as they file a complaint in Spain, accusing the popular budget airline of promoting an “invasive facial recognition process” for certain customers. Austria’s NOYB (None Of Your Business), a prominent campaign group for privacy rights, has taken action against Europe’s largest carrier by passenger numbers, alleging that Ryanair compels customers booking through online travel agents to undergo a mandatory “verification process” involving intrusive facial recognition.
NOYB argues that Ryanair’s implementation of this system lacks reasonable justification and appears to violate customers’ data protection rights, possibly for the purpose of gaining an unfair competitive advantage over alternative booking channels. In response, Ryanair states that their aim is to protect customers from mis-selling and provide them with direct safety and regulatory information.
The complaint against Ryanair was prompted by an incident involving a customer from Spain who booked a flight through the Barcelona-based online travel agency eDreams and was subsequently asked by Ryanair to complete the “verification process.”