Traveler smart card poses security concerns

While garnering support from stakeholders, the Transportation Security Administration's proposed registered traveler program could create new aviation vulnerabilities, the General Accounting Office found.

The program would allow certain credentialed and pre-screened passengers to speed through security checkpoints in airports using smart cards. The goal would be to reduce long waits and better target resources to those travelers who might pose greater risks.

"GAO concluded that a registered traveler program is one possible approach for managing some of the security vulnerabilities in our nation's aviation systems," office officials wrote in highlights of the November 2002 report. "However, decisions concerning key issues are needed before developing and implementing such a program."

GAO identified a slew of issues to resolve: eligibility criteria, level of background check required, security-screening procedures, technology options, scope, cost and financing options.

The TSA felt the study offered a good overview of the potential and the challenges of the registered traveler concept, according to GAO's highlights.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the TSA in November 2001, allows the agency to consider the program. The TSA hopes to begin testing soon.


  • Social Media
    Editorial credit: pcruciatti /

    They took all the tweets and put 'em in a tweet museum

    Twitter cancelled @realdonaldtrump, but the National Archives will bring presidential tweets back via the Trump library website.

  • Workforce
    Avril Haines testifies SSCI Jan. 19, 2021

    Haines looks to restore IC workforce morale

    If confirmed, Avril Haines says that one of her top priorities as the Director of National Intelligence will be "institutional" issues, like renewing public trust in the intelligence community and improving workforce morale.

Stay Connected