‘CAPPS IV’: TSA expands profiling of domestic US airline passengers

Under color of a vestigial provision of Federal law related to an airline passenger profiling program that was discontinued more than four years ago, and applying the name of that program (and attempting to apply the same legal mandate) to an entirely new scheme, the TSA is adding a new, additional layer of passenger profiling to its pre-crime system for domestic airline flights within the Unites States.
The existence and TSA-mandated implementation of the new so-called ‘Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS)’ was first disclosed publicly in anobscure posting this Monday on the DHS website and an equally obscure noticepublished the same day in the Federal Register. According to both documents, the new CAPPS scheme has been under development since at least 2013, in secret collaboration between the TSA, the inter-departmental National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), airlines, and private contractors.
What was the old CAPPS? What is the new CAPPS? And what does this mean for the rights of travelers?

This post was published at Papers Please on January 9th, 2015.

 

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