NY Times Finds An 8-Year-Old On TSA Flight Watch List
from the good-data-mining dept
Back in 2007, the TSA wrote a “mythbuster” blog post on its site claiming that no 8-year-olds were on the TSA “no fly” list, which apparently was a challenge to the NY Times. While it didn’t actually find an 8-year-old on the “no fly” list, it did find one on the “watch list.” To be fair, the TSA in its blog post does acknowledge that there could be some 8-year-olds on the watch list, but none on the no fly list. And the Times did not find one on the no fly list — so the TSA’s blog post is technically accurate.
That said, the TSA blog post also claims that if there are mistakes that lead to an 8-year-old being on the watch list, airlines can “automatically deselect” them. And… that did not appear to happen. The kid that the NYT found apparently gets vigorously searched every time he flies. The Times did get the TSA to say on record that “there are no children on the no-fly or selectee lists,” but the fact that little Mikey Hicks gets searched so much highlights the problem. Right now, it seems like everything is based on a name alone. That’s not particularly sophisticated. By this point, shouldn’t the TSA have better tools than just a name to determine if someone is worth additional scrutiny?