Pre-Check: Great news if you're white & have good credit & employment history

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    In the early 90's my wife & I both had real estate brokers licenses and spent a lot of time working "impossible" to sell inner city properties. We'd put a sign & mailbox right next to the sidewalk with info about obscenely low down payments & low monthly payments (APR properly calculated :) all kosher!). How did we manage this? We were working with two banks that had special lending programs under the Community Reinvestment Act that helped get people with less than stellar credit and shorter term employment into home. What the programs and those of us who worked with them understood is that there are a lot of good, honest, worthy people out there who aren't going to pass a conventional computer check. My guess is that millions of good people will who don't have what it takes to get a high credit score will be getting the short end of TSA's latest boondoggling stick:

    Bloomberg Business Week: TSA to Select Passengers Case by Case for Faster Security Lanes (Sept 9 2013)

    U.S. airline passengers will be chosen on a case-by-case basis to use expedited-screening lines at airports to help speed up security checks, the Transportation Security Administration said.
    Passengers will be chosen after a background check, based on information they already provide when buying tickets, before they get to the airport, the agency said in a notice to be published tomorrow in the Federal Register.

    They won’t have to be enrolled in TSA’s PreCheck program, be a frequent flier, or sign up for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, the agency said.
    ...
    Under the latest initiative, passengers won’t have to provide personal information beyond their names, date of birth and gender -- which they already provide to airlines to check against terrorist watch lists, the agency said.

    And of course since this is TSA, they will always reserve the right to abuse you:

    TSA will incorporate random, unpredictable security measures and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening, said David Castelveter, an agency spokesman.

    And this is where these self-absorbed bureaucrats continue to get it totally backwards-- instead of blessing the annointed 25% of the population with Pre-Check, they should reserve their more intrusive screening for the small number (I'd bet 5-10% or less) who are shown by a background check to be an actual risk, e.g. those with a history of violent crimes and those who have been place on a terrorist watch list with due process:

    The agency has set a goal of having 25 percent of U.S. airline traffic using PreCheck by the end of next year, up from about 2 percent last year.
     
  2. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I disagree. There should be no intrusive screening unless you have good reason to believe the person is somehow a threat to aviation, otherwise screen with a metal detector and maybe a hand swab - with all the false positives I'm not sure this is a great idea, but like most everything else, the technology will probably only keep getting better. Adding more criteria like background checks leads to a system like what we have today.

    I do agree that people with bad credit are going to get screwed by this pre-check 'case by case' method. In one of the iterations of Secure Flight that we all managed to kill, credit history, credit scores, how 'rooted' in the neighborhood you are (whether or not you own property), were all criteria to be used. DHS/TSA so badly wants to use that information, so I'm not at all surprised to see it pop up in pre-check.
     
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I think we'd mostly agree in the end. A big problem with any kind of checks, even just focusing on criminal convictions and watch lists, is false identifications and lack of confirmations that "terrorists" are really terrorists.

    Europe & Australia basically have pre 9/11 security today. In most Australian airports you can still see someone off/meet someone at the gate -- ID's & boarding passes aren't checked until you board; exceptions are airports both international & domestic flights where the two groups of passengers commingle (e.g. Melbourne as I recall).

    The U.S. is saddled with a now-entrenched bureaucracy in need of a purpose.
     
  4. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Generally agree.

    The biggest problem is the use of TSA as general law enforcement. There's a reason why we have warrants! Going to the airport is not probably cause to suspect that you are engaged in criminal activity.

    As for Europe and Australia -- wow - their planes are not falling out of the sky because people aren't groped, harassed, and strip-searched. Who knew? ;)
     
  5. Can I just ask a dense question here, to make sure I understand it? The TSA and/or the airlines are now going to be conducting background checks on me, criminal and credit, without my consent, just because I bought an airline ticket? Is there an opt-out? Like, grope me, .......... me, tear up and steal all my stuff, just keep your sniveling evil little rat claws out of my background information?
     
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Sounds like they are.

    That would be TSA, not the airlines. TSA requires that the airline turn personal information over to TSA, which is used for the background checks.

    Remember how innocuous it seemed when TSA started validating boarding passes with their own computers systems? This is all facilitated by such technology.

    Let's avoid vulgarities in our posts, please.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Sssshhhhhhhh! That's SSI.

    If you count the number of incidents, Europe has experienced far more terrorism than the U.S.

    Australia, being sort of isolated, has been left alone but targeted abroad, e.g. the Bali bombings.
     
  8. Sorry. :cool:
     
  9. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    http://skift.com/2013/09/11/tsa-to-begin-pre-screening-flyers-at-time-of-ticket-purchase/

    U.S. travelers will be chosen on a case-by-case basis to use expedited-screening lines at airports without having to provide more personal information than they now give airlines, the Transportation Security Administration said.
    Passengers will be chosen after a background check, before they get to the airport, the agency said in a notice to be published today in the Federal Register.
    They won’t have to be enrolled in TSA’s PreCheck program, be a frequent flier, or sign up for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, the agency said.

    Under the latest initiative, passengers won’t have to provide personal information beyond their names, date of birth and gender — which they already provide to airlines to check against terrorist watch lists, the agency said.
    TSA will incorporate random, unpredictable security measures and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening, said David Castelveter, an agency spokesman.
    Advocates for expanding PreCheck have said eligibility is too restricted, limiting its potential to speed security checks and make screening less invasive for people who pose no risk.
     
  10. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    The background check language was throwing me.

    It looks like this is an extension of Secure Flight. Instead of just using the info that they collect 72 hour prior to the flight to see if you're on a watch list, they'll use it to decide what level of security you'll get at the airport.

    Here's the federal register notice.

    Here's a little something from the notice:

    As part of TSA's ongoing efforts to identify appropriate security screening for commercial aviation travelers, TSA plans to implement a risk-based analysis of passenger and flight data provided through the computer system that processes Secure Flight and other data. TSA is amending the Secure Flight SORN to reflect this addition to TSA's passenger prescreening capabilities. Prescreening involves the use of information to make decisions before the passenger receives a boarding pass, to determine what level of physical screening the passenger will receive when he or she arrives at the TSA airport security checkpoint. This change is part of TSA's ongoing efforts to identify appropriate screening for travelers, including those who present a lower security risk. The primary result of this change will be the identification of passengers who are eligible for expedited screening at participating airport security checkpoints.

    And then there's this:

    TSA's risk-based analysis of SFPD also may be used to give greater scrutiny to a particular flight or individual when, based on current intelligence or other factors, TSA concludes that there is greater risk. That greater scrutiny could result in more passengers receiving Selectee screening, fewer passengers receiving expedited screening, or other security procedures not visible to the general public.

    The risk-based analysis includes a level of randomness to ensure unpredictable results. One potential result of the randomness is that a passenger who might otherwise receive expedited screening as a result of this process may instead be randomly selected to receive standard screening or enhanced screening, such as explosives detection testing.

    So there ya go.

    Time to write comments.
     

Share This Page