07/30/13 TSA Precheck
What if the medical lab marketed your health information after you had blood work done?
You’d be furious.
Well, the Department of Homeland Security may allow a similar type of activity to occur.
The Transportation Security Administration recently announced it’s expanding the TSA Pre-Check program. Pre-Check is a trusted traveler program wherein frequent travelers can go through a somewhat speedier security line at the airport.
You donÃ¢Â€Â™t have to disrobe. You know: jackets, shoes, and belts Ã¢Â€Â“ they donÃ¢Â€Â™t come-off. Your laptop and baggie full of three ounce fluids remain in your carry-on. And there are fewer people in the Pre-Check security line. [Passenger and baggage screening still occurs.]
But it comes with a cost. IÃ¢Â€Â™m in the program. Last year, I paid a $100 application fee, gave them considerable personal data, underwent a law enforcement interview and was fingerprinted before I got approved.
Currently only 40 of the nationÃ¢Â€Â™s nearly 800 commercial airports have Pre-Check. And only 7 airlines participate. [These are: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.]
TSA is hoping nearly 400,000 travelers will pay the lower $85 fee and go through the screening process.
HereÃ¢Â€Â™s the catch. TSA is outsourcing the screening to private companies. These third party companies will use your personal information and will data mine commercial sources to determine if youÃ¢Â€Â™re a risk.
As this TSA document shows, how your data is used later by these companies is anybody’s guess.
[Note the language on page 5 of this TSA request for proposals. Instead of using a term such as Ã¢Â€ÂœrequiresÃ¢Â€Â or Ã¢Â€Âœmandates,Ã¢Â€Â the TSA instead uses the term Ã¢Â€ÂœanticipatesÃ¢Â€Â for Ã¢Â€ÂœTSA Ã¢Â€Â˜anticipatesÃ¢Â€Â™ that submitters will obtain written authorization . . .Ã¢Â€Â™.Ã¢Â€Â In other words, third parties are NOT actually bound to obtain written authorization.]
[Excerpt from page 5: Ã¢Â€ÂœTSA anticipates that submitters will obtain written authorization from each applicant to use the applicantÃ¢Â€Â™s biographic or biometric data for any purposes beyond those directly related to TSA third-party pre-screening, and must segregate (logically or physically) data collected for purposes of TSA third-party pre-screening from other data that the submitter may maintain on the same individual even where the same data element (name, for example) appears.Ã¢Â€Â]
You can follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @MarkHyman.
Join us on our Facebook page.