Friday, June 5, 2009

Is TSA Really Taking Fingerprints of Passengers???

I’ve been seeing this around the blogosphere, so I thought I’d attempt to clear this up a little bit.

Is TSA Really Taking Fingerprints from Passengers??? Yes, but only at Atlanta checkpoints from non-US citizens leaving the country. Our sister component, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is conducting the same tests in Detroit.

This is all part of the Department of Homeland Security’s US VISIT pilot program. Fingerprints (biometrics) are already collected from incoming non-US citizens applying for visas and also at ports of entry and are used to stop criminals and immigration violators. Exit prints will help identify when non-US citizens exit the country, how long they’ve been here, or if somebody has stayed in the states illegally.

TSA is assisting with this pilot program and fingerprints about 800 passengers at ATL daily.

The US VISIT pilot program will end in July. The Department of Homeland Security plans on launching the new exit procedures within the next year.

By the way, these are digital fingerprints, so you don’t have to worry about ending up with an accidental ink mustache or a trendy fingerprint patterned shirt or tie. For more information on US VISIT, you can read the press release , web page, or the privacy impact assessment.


TSA Blog Team