The TSA announced that it is beginning a new program that will allow travelers’ to replace their identification documents and boarding passes with fingerprints. However there is a catch, you have to give the government your fingerprints.
TSA will start assessing the new “biometric authentication technology” at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport this week, according to a TSA press release. The new program is intended for those who have enrolled in the PreCheck program, and have voluntarily provided their fingerprints to the feds.
Privacy activists are cautious of programs they see as a way for the government to collect information about people that could be used for nefarious purposes. “If you sign up, you’ll want to keep your nose clean for the rest of your life,” Gregory Nojeim, a director at the Center for Democracy & Technology, told the Washington Post in 2013 after the TSA first rolled out its program. “Because that’s how long the FBI will keep your fingerprints.”
Nojeim added that the information collected by the TSA is stored in a database for 75 years. And the database is accessed by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies looking to match fingerprints.
The fingerprint database is intended for those who have already been accepted into TSA’s PreP. However, although, TSA says new users are invited to use the system.