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Continued: TSA screening digs deep into passenger data

  • Article by: SUSAN STELLIN , New York Times
  • Last update: October 21, 2013 - 11:40 PM

The airline industry has supported the expansion of PreCheck and using data about travelers to decide who should receive more or less scrutiny at checkpoints, to reduce security bottlenecks and focus resources on higher-risk passengers.

Automated Targeting System

At the heart of the expanded effort is a database called the Automated Targeting System, which is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and screens travelers entering the United States.

Data in the Automated Targeting System is used to decide who is placed on the no-fly list — thousands of people the U.S. government has banned from flying — and the selectee list, an unknown number of travelers required to undergo more in-depth screening. The TSA also maintains a PreCheck disqualification list, tracking people accused of violating security regulations, including disputes with checkpoint or airline staff.

Much of this data is widely shared within the Department of Homeland Security and with other government agencies. Privacy notices for these databases note that the information may be shared with federal, state and local authorities; foreign governments; law enforcement and intelligence agencies — and in some cases, private companies for purposes unrelated to security or travel.

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