Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The TSA Pre-Grope Program

TSA is touting their new passenger vetting system that will allow “trusted travelers” to provide personal information in exchange for an unspecified form of expedited screening. Apparently not content to invade the physical privacy of travelers by groping and strip searching them, now they want passengers’ sensitive financial, health and personal data in exchange for what, based on their past track record, will almost certainly be an empty promise.

They have made it clear that these passengers would still be sent through scanners, would still be subject to pat downs and possibly strip searches but at least wouldn’t have to wait as long to be harassed. 

Those invited to participate in this Pre-Grope program will pay TSA several hundred dollar each year, trust that TSA won’t renege on their promise and actually believe that TSA will somehow manage to keep their personal financial information secure. Presumably, there are plenty of gullible and desperate passengers willing to participate in this despite overwhelming evidence that it will ultimately fall short of expectations and almost certainly result in even more TSA inflicted damage.

They assure participants that their personal data will be secure and only be used to confirm that the passenger is not a risk. This is from the same agency that released the personal information of passengers and its own employees in 2005 and posted their own sensitive security information on the internet in 2009.

In keeping with the agency’s penchant for avoiding the truth, TSA attempted to cover up the extent of the employee data breach and the airlines’ participation in TSA’s data mining efforts.

This program will undoubtedly result in disappointed passengers, data breaches, identity thefts and more attempts by TSA to deny reality and blame the victims.