Authored by James Bovard via The Mises Institute,
The TSA has been promising to end its boneheaded ways for more than 20 years. Flying out of Dallas International Airport last week, I ruefully recognized that all TSA reform promises are malarkey.
As I neared the end of a TSA checkpoint line, I saw two women loitering behind a roped off section for CLEAR, a new biometric surveillance program that works with 35 airports and coordinates with TSA. CLEAR involves travelers standing in photo kiosks that compare their faces with a federal database of photos from passport applications, driver’s licenses, and other sources. The Washington Post warned that airport facial recognition systems are “America’s biggest step yet to normalize treating our faces as data that can be stored, tracked and, inevitably, stolen.”
Though the CLEAR program is purportedly voluntary, TSA agents at Washington National Airport recently threatened long delays for any passenger who refused to be photographed by CLEAR, including U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Merkley said that TSA falsely claimed there were signs notifying people that the facial scans are optional. But the clock is ticking down on seeking…
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