The Department of Homeland Security is working on a screening system called the Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, or CAPPS II. It is designed to reduce the number of people who are misidentified as potential security threats.
Airlines will be required to hand over lists of all passengers so that names can be processed through the CAPPS II system, which conducts a risk assessment of each individual by checking the names against commercial and government databases.
CAPPS II was set to begin testing in the spring, with implementation by summer. That schedule was in question at press time because the Congressional General Accounting Office found that the DHS had failed to achieve seven of eight criteria that had been established by Congress.
The program has raised some concerns. The Business Travel Coalition is petitioning Sens. John McCain III, R-Ariz., and Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., chairmen of the Congressional Transportation Committee, to hold a hearing on CAPPS II. Kevin Mitchell, BTC chairman, says the group isn't opposed to CAPPS II, it just feels there has not been sufficient debate on the system or on the issue of privacy.