New report raises concerns about possible discrimination by airport security technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new government watchdog report is raising concerns about potential discrimination at airport security checkpoints.


According to the findings by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, some passengers are being screened more than others.

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The report found that the Transportation Security Administration’s advanced imaging technology and other practices could result in certain passengers - like people who are transgender, wear religious headwear, or have disabilities- being referred more frequently for additional screening.

The problem raises privacy concerns for people like Jay Stanley, a policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“It gets very old very quickly going through airline security and being hassled,” Stanley said.

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The GAO studied what’s happening with security at four airports around the country and determined more needs to be done to track who’s being referred for additional screening, and to make sure the TSA’s screening practices comply with non-discrimination policies.

TSA Director David Pekoske was recently asked by members of Congress what’s being done to make sure that the latest technology is being used.

“We’re putting new technology in our security screening checkpoints,” Pekoske said. “We have a lot of that new technology at Atlanta airport, but part of that technology is to be able to automatically detect prohibited items, which currently we don’t have the ability to do.”

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In response to the report, the TSA said it agrees that more needs to be done. They plan to review their screening practices to help minimize any issues.

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