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Airline Security Pushing for Risk Based Passenger Screening
Written by Angelo Castigliola   
Mar 13, 2013 at 02:26 PM

The push is a shift from screening items, to screening travelers.  This has privacy groups upset:

Aviation security leaders are moving forward with plans to shift toward a risk-based system of passenger screening — an idea supported by the travel industry and government officials who want screeners to focus on travelers who may present a security threat.

But as details emerge on how governments and airlines plan to distinguish between “trusted travelers” eligible for lighter screening and those who will receive more scrutiny, civil liberties groups and some European regulators are questioning the use of vast amounts of personal data to decide which travelers to examine more closely — or to prevent from flying at all.

Collecting and sharing information on passengers is at the heart of the new effort. The information governments use to vet passengers includes data individuals have volunteered by applying for trusted traveler programs, as well as information gathered through terrorist watch lists, criminal background checks and border checkpoint encounters.

Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, who spoke at the conference, described the agency’s shift as a “risk-based approach that attempts to segregate out passengers for whom we have a lot of information and can evaluate their risk as low-risk versus those that we know little about or that are higher risk.”

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