The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will start its own passenger profiling system, says Time magazine. SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques), relying more on the human dimension in detecting threats, will be tested at two northeastern airports starting this month. The program is based on one used at Boston’s Logan Airport.
SPOT is based not on computerized databases but on the ability of TSA employees to identify suspicious individuals by using the principles of surveillance and detection. Passengers who exhibit unusual or anxious behavior will be pointed out to local police, who will then conduct face-to-face interviews to determine whether any threat exists. Similar profiling programs have helped the Massachusetts State Police arrest about 20 people for infractions ranging from being in the country illegally to failing to answer outstanding warrants for various offenses.