A government list of “cleared” fliers, developed to cut airport hassles for people whose names are confused with suspects on the terrorist watch list, has grown to 80,000 names, reports USA Today. The additions to the Transportation Security Administration’s “cleared list” reflect an influx of requests from people asking to be removed from the watch list.
The watch list database has expanded 32% since 2007, to more than 1 million entries. The cleared list has grown because about 99% of the fliers seeking to be removed from the watch list were never on it, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the TSA. Most believed they were on the watch list after encountering screening problems at airports, often because they were mistaken for someone on the watch list, says Jim Kennedy, who heads the program that handles requests to get off the watch list. The cleared list allows airline personnel and TSA officers to know that “this individual with this government-issued ID is not the individual we’re looking for.”