Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Technology Will Check Travel Documents

You might remember me blogging about a new piece of technology last year called the CAT/BPSS. Its real name is “Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System.” That can be a mouthful, so I simply call it the travel document scanner.

We just started testing the technology at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and will also test at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in the coming weeks. Each airport will receive 6 units total.

This technology will scan a passenger’s boarding pass and photo ID, and automatically verify the names provided on both documents and then match and authenticate the boarding pass. The technology also identifies altered or fraudulent photo IDs by analyzing and comparing security features embedded in the IDs.

What should passengers expect? Passengers will hand their ID to the TSA Travel Document Checker (TDC) who will scan it while the passenger scans their own boarding pass using a built in scanner that's part of the technology. Once the scan is complete, the technology automatically and permanently deletes the information from the system. Here's a link to the Privacy Impact Assessment for the technology.

If testing is successful, TSA could deploy the technology to airports nationwide. Our officers at airports that are not part of the operational testing will continue to verify travel documents with the aid of lights and loupes, as one of many layers of security.

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.