Friday, June 20, 2008

New ID Requirements Begin Tomorrow

If you're flying tomorrow, or anytime in the near future, you may want to make a note that tomorrow is the day the TSA enhances its ID requirements. There have been many misconceptions of the new requirements and I just wanted to attempt to clear things up a little bit.

We've all been there. You've got a million things to do before you fly. Pay bills, pack, get the kids ready, get your clothes from the dry cleaner, you name it. Whatever it is you have to do, it's inevitable that you'll forget at least one of them from time to time. (Hopefully not the kids) I usually forget my toothbrush.

What if you forget your ID? Is your vacation ruined? Are you going to miss your meeting? Are you going to miss the Elvis Costello show this weekend at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall? Not at all… If you simply state you forgot your ID, we will work with you to verify your ID, you may undergo some additional screening and will be permitted to fly.

On the other hand, if you do not cooperate and state that you're not willing to show us your ID, you will not be permitted to fly.

You show your ID to test drive a car, view an apartment, buy a house, cash a check, buy cigarettes or alcohol, rent videos and so forth. The list could go on and in some of these circumstances; they hold onto your card or make a copy. We're just asking for a few moments of your time to ensure your name matches the name on your ticket.

Is this about control? No. It's about knowing who is getting on the plane. It's about shifting our focus towards people instead of items on a list. You know as well as we do that you can make a weapon out of anything. The naked human body of someone skilled in martial arts is far more dangerous than most people with a weapon. We know that and we're shifting towards that line of thought. It is going to be a huge change in our culture, but I and others firmly believe this is the proper evolution path for security.

If our goal is to keep bad people off of planes, and our law enforcement and intelligence partners have gone to the lengths of creating watch lists of known terrorists to keep them off said planes, we have to know for sure that each person who goes through matches the name on their boarding pass and is who they say they are. Most people are not a threat, but we know there are people out there that could pose a threat. Letting anyone go through who says "I don't want to show my ID" is not good security. It's not a poke in the eye to certain folks – it's about security for everyone and we view verifying identity as importantly as we view having passengers pass through metal detectors.

Make sure you also check out Christopher's blog post on IDs.

EoS Blog Team