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U.S. Travel Association Calls for ‘Trusted Traveler Program’ to Cut Down on Airport Screenings

The outcry over increasingly invasive TSA screenings may have died down since last fall, but it isn’t going away anytime soon. At a press conference today, the U.S. Travel Association recommended that the government create a “trusted traveler program” that would allow qualified travelers to avoid the extra security:

That’s where the trusted traveler program would come in, designating some passengers as low-risk based on information such as a background check, employment history, lack of criminal record and other factors.

Once travelers enroll in the program and their identity is confirmed at the airport with the help of biometric information, they would be subject to less security, Ridge said.

It’s an interesting proposal, but it doesn’t sound extremely effective. Many would-be terrorists have clean records and backgrounds. And what kind of criminal record would disqualify someone from joining the trusted traveler program? If it’s a history of terrorism, then that person probably isn’t getting past airport security in the first place, let alone applying for a trusted traveler pass.

Not to mention, the program sounds like it would have to use some sort of profiling criteria to make it even slightly effective, which could open it up to legal problems. The security screening process right now is frustrating and difficult to deal with, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem like a viable alternative.



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