Screening Air Travelers Via Commercial Databases Dropped

    September 23, 2005

The Transportation Security Administration said they plan to have their computerized passenger screening program ready later this year but it won’t include the hot-button, commercially-maintained databases, so denigrated by privacy groups.

The government designed the program to help screen passengers who could pose a possible security risk. The problem many had with the commercial database side is who has access to information and what they might do with it. The Secure Flight program will now be based on information passengers and airlines provide when the airline ticket is purchased.

“Airlines will provide us with the information and we’ll do the check against the ‘no fly’ list,” Darrin Kayser, a TSA spokesman, told Reuters.

The Reuters story went on to mention the questions raised by politicians and privacy groups alike regarding why the government might need access to all that commercial information.

The problem doesn’t go away though as now the airlines will be required to get more information during the ticketing process and there are privacy questions regarding those as well. According to the Reuters story, airlines are already complaining because they have little money now and they will be forced to upgrade a lot of software and other items in order to make the changes.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.