The holiday season is here and it’s the time of year when many people will be traveling through the air.
Earlier this fall, the Transportation Security Administration announced it is working to widen security screenings of passenger background checks on customers before those customers even arrive at the airport.
The TSA announced it will soon be able to look at passenger information, including car registration and employment information.
The TSA says the goal is to make the security check process easier for customers. This new process would allow the government more wiggle room to use and provide passenger information at domestic airports. Previously, these steps were only applied to people looking to enter the United States. The TSA had previously used a background check system called Secure Flight. This system compared a traveler’s name, gender and birthday to terrorist wanted lists.
These new types of screenings have already begun. It remains unclear how the TSA plans on launching the program, or what information will be looked at specifically.
One agency official told the New York Times the program is designed to separate low-risk travelers from more dangerous ones that demand tighter screening. Anyone who has never traveled outside the United States would not have a passport number on file and would not be subject to the rules that the agency uses to determine risk. The official added that the rules consider things like a person’s travel itinerary, length of stay and travel document (like a passport).
Tighter security has become common in many aspects of our lives. We know all reasons why background checks are so important when it comes to things like pre-employment screenings.
If you plan on flying, are you happy about the TSA’s new plan for security screenings? Is this is another great tool to ensure passenger safety? Or is this an example of a government agency having too much access to a person’s personal information?