Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Expediting Screening for the Traveling Public

As TSA has announced and has been widely reported, we are using a number of programs to allow travelers to receive expedited screening when they travel, improving their traveling experiences by allowing them to keep their shoes, belts, and coats on, as well as their computers in their bags, when going through TSA screening.

The TSA Pre✓™ program is now available at nearly 100 airports nationwide – and will allow passengers who apply through TSA for this program to undergo a simple background check and be eligible for expedited screening at these participating airports. To date more than 18 million passengers have enjoyed expedited screening as a result of the TSA Pre✓™ program.

Using the same information that passengers have provided at the time of flight booking for years – name, date of birth, gender – TSA is also providing certain passengers, even without enrolling in TSA Pre✓™, the same expedited screening benefits of TSA Pre✓™.

You may have heard from friends or family who have recently enjoyed these benefits, the feedback we at TSA are hearing is very positive. We know it’s good for the traveling public, and it also allows TSA to focus its resources on more high risk individuals.
Prescreening of passengers is nothing new, and we are not using any new data to determine low risk passengers. Unfortunately some have confused these programs, so we wanted to take this opportunity to make clear what we are not doing:
  • We are not expanding the type of information we use – again we rely on the same security information passengers have been required to submit at time of booking for many years.
  • We are not using car registrations or employment information.
  • We are not using “private databases” – the info we rely on is the same info that passengers have provided for years when they book their flight.
  • TSA does not monitor a passenger’s length of stay in any location.
Let’s also remember that when it comes to TSA Pre✓™, passengers are choosing to apply for this program – having determined a small fee and a background check is worth expedited screening when they travel.

TSA has a very high bar when it comes to protecting the civil liberties of the traveling public. Our job is to make sure that passengers are able to travel safely, and the programs we have undertaken are designed to meet this goal while at the same time making your traveling experience a more positive one – moving from a one size fits all approach of security to one that provides a much larger part of the traveling population the opportunity to move through security faster and with less hassle.

We believe, and we hope you agree, these are exactly the right types of steps to be taking to meet these important goals.
TSA Blog Team
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