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Report: TSA screening passengers before airport

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If you think the Transportation Security Administration screenings begin in the security line, you’re wrong.

According to NBC News, the TSA is screening passengers before they ever arrive at the airport.

It is unclear precisely what information the agency is relying upon to make these risk assessments, given the extensive range of records it can access, including tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.

An unnamed TSA official said the agency will also consider travel itineraries.

The TSA said the new advance screenings are designed to move it away from the one-size-fits-all approach it has traditionally taken to flyers. However, the move is not being met with applause.

Critics argue that the problem with what the agency calls an “intelligence-driven, risk-based analysis” of passenger data is that secret computer rules, not humans, make these determinations. Civil liberties groups have questioned whether the agency has the legal authority to make these assessments, which the T.S.A. has claimed in Federal Register notices and privacy disclosures about the initiative. Privacy advocates have also disputed whether computer algorithms can accurately predict terrorist intent.

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