A new era of surveillance is about to begin. It will begin at the nation’s airports.
The International Air Transport Association is determined to speed up the lines to get checked. So, there will be a new system of surveillance. It is being beta-rested at Love Field in Texas.
That was the airport where President Kennedy landed in his final trip.
Cameras will begin scanning us in the parking garage.
We will check our luggage (fee). Then we will have our fingerprints scanned.
This means that our fingerprints must be in at least one data base, so they can be verified.
This will apply all over the world.
If we have carry-on luggage, we will go through an electronic tunnel. There, we will be scanned.
Supposedly, these X-ray machines will identify non-metallic objects.
This will make everything speedy. This will not be extra layers of screening. It will replace all other screening. They promise.
The machines to do this already exist. Well, not all of them. Some are in development.
We must wait a decade, they tell us.
To speed things up, all we need to do is surrender our privacy forever. We will get our fingerprints on file. Then we will get our irises on file.
Then everything will speed up.
No more guards asking, “Your papers, please.”
The key to speeding up checkpoints and making security less intrusive will be to identify and assess travelers according to the risks they pose to safety in the skies. The so-called riskiest or unknown passengers would face the toughest scrutiny, including questioning and more sensitive electronic screening. Those who voluntarily provide more information about themselves to the government would be rewarded with faster passage.
What’s that? You prefer not to provide such information voluntarily? Then it’s back to “Your papers, please.”Americans are already opting in. The TSA has a pre-check program. A million flyers have registered.
The airlines say they could eliminate paper from ticketing if passengers provided information as they do for PreCheck, by linking an electronic ticket to a person’s fingerprint or iris scan.
Iris scans, which measure the colored part of the eye, are gaining visibility worldwide. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam began the Privium program in October 2001. It offers fliers with European passports a border passage of 10 to 15 seconds with iris scans.
In the USA, about 200,000 fliers have enrolled in the CLEAR program for expedited screening in Denver, Orlando and San Francisco since November 2010. Members, who answer TSA questions and provide either a fingerprint or iris scan, pay $179 a year to breeze past ID kiosks with a special card.
Here is the goal.
“To do it right, what you’d want to do is bring somebody in, get all their biographic information, get their biometric information, and run them through a couple of databases to make sure they’re not a bad guy,” says James Albers, senior vice president at MorphoTrust USA, which developed software for iris scans. “Do they travel enough to make that worthwhile or cost-effective?”
Once this is operational at airports, look for this in subways, at train stations, at bus depots.
To see what is coming, read the details about what is already here: at Love Field.