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5 New Ways the T.S.A. Searches You Before a Flight

The blue glove of the T.S.A. may start to reach much further than your carry-on.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

If you have an upcoming flight, you’ve probably already been through security -- even if you are nowhere near the airport. The Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.) will now inspect passengers much more closely, for both domestic and international flights, by surveying a host of different databases.

Here are five new stealthy scans you might unwittingly undergo (well) before boarding your next flight:

1) Your employment and any criminal information. The T.S.A. has within its grasp all of our tax identification numbers and law enforcement information.

2) Your debtors. According to The New York Times, “an update about the T.S.A.'s Transportation Security Enforcement Record System, which contains information about travelers accused of ‘violations or potential violations’ of security regulations, warns that the records may be shared with a debt collection agency for the purpose of debt collection." ‘Potential’? Yikes.

3) Your car registration: Because you drive to the airport, now the T.S.A. gets to look at this? Sure, the “T” stands for Transportation, but the bulk of T.S.A.’s work has to do with airline security. Why is my car involved?

4) Past travel itinerary: For those airline passengers who have previously submitted their passport numbers, the T.S.A. may now use information about past travels to scan for security risks.

5) Physical Characteristics: I once took a flight with my younger brother when he was sporting a sizable, unruly beard. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but that day we almost missed our flight because he was taken aside by T.S.A. agents and subjected to a long, tedious search. Now, even if he's shorn, a T.S.A. computer may use information culled from private databases and peg my brother as ‘suspicious beard guy’ before he even hits the security line.

If this gets you steamed, you should read the whole article.

Do you think it’s worth it to let the T.S.A. reach beyond the terminal? Let us know in the comments or a blog post.

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