Tracking travelers

The Transportation Security Administration will soon launch its Registered Traveler pilot program at five airports. The program will allow frequent fliers to move through airport security checkpoints more quickly using a smart card with a biometric component.

Other systems government officials are using or will use to track air travelers include:

Advance Passenger Information System — Using this system, airlines send passenger data to Customs and Border Protection (CPB) 15 minutes after the departure of an international flight to the United States.

Passenger Name Record Access — The Homeland Security Department and the European Commission reached an agreement that permits CBP officials to collect data on passengers flying between the United States and countries in the European Union. Data will be kept for at least three and a half years.

Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II — Still mired in its planning stage, CAPPS II seeks to authenticate travelers' identities and allow officials to consult a list of potentially dangerous travelers.

U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program — This entry/exit program, which documents foreign visa holders, is slated to include airports, seaports and land border crossings.

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