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Risk-Based Screening Draws Privacy Scrutiny

TRAVELERS’ PRIVACY—EU & U.S.

March 12, 2013

The New York Times reports on plans to move air passenger screening to a more risk-based system fueled by large amounts of data collecting and sharing. The shift is supported by the travel industry and U.S. government officials, but civil liberties groups and some European regulators are concerned the new approach will compromise travelers’ privacy. The system will focus on identifying suspect travelers rather than suspect items and will use data from terror-watch lists, travel agencies and airlines—including birth dates, passport numbers and other confidential information. German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Peter Schaar said any passenger data system should demonstrate it roots out terrorists, be proportional and avoid discrimination. “I question whether these proposals meet at least one of those,” he cautioned. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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