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Security

Insufficient oversight casts shadow over TSA behavioural detection

05 June 2019

There is no specific mechanism in place to check whether Transportation Security Administration (TSA) behavioural screening staff are unlawfully profiling passengers, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has warned.

The TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, do have policies prohibiting behaviour-detection officers from picking out individuals for additional screening on the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, or other “protected characteristics”, the GAO noted in a 4 June report.

There is general oversight guidance to monitor how TSA agents apply behavioural detection methods, and TSA officials told the GAO that they are updating standard operating procedures this year.

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