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UK To Use "Risk-Profiling Software" To Screen All Airline Passengers and Cargo 222

dryriver writes "The BBC reports: 'The UK branch of an American company — SAS Software — has developed a hi-tech software program it believes can help detect and prevent potentially dangerous passengers and cargo entering the UK using the technique known as 'risk profiling.' So, what exactly is risk profiling and can it really reduce the risk of international terrorism? Risk profiling is a controversial topic. It means identifying a person or group of people who are more likely to act in a certain way than the rest of the population, based on an analysis of their background and past behavior — which of course requires the collection of certain data on people's background and behavior to begin with. When it comes to airline security, some believe this makes perfect sense. Others, though, say this smacks of prejudice and would inevitably lead to unacceptable racial or religious profiling — singling out someone because, say, they happen to be Muslim, or born in Yemen. The company making the Risk-Profiling Software in question, of course, strongly denies that the software would single people out using factors like race, religion or country of origin. It says that the program works by feeding in data about passengers or cargo, including the Advanced Passenger Information (API) that airlines heading to Britain are obliged to send to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) at 'wheels up' — the exact moment the aircraft lifts off from the airport of departure. Additional information could include a combination of factors, like whether the passenger paid for their ticket in cash, or if they have ever been on a watch list or have recently spent time in a country with a known security problem. The data is then analyzed to produce a schematic read-out for immigration officials that shows the risk profile for every single passenger on an incoming flight, seat by seat, high risk to low risk.'"
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UK To Use "Risk-Profiling Software" To Screen All Airline Passengers and Cargo

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  • Re:It Believes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@[ ] ['hot' in gap]> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:42AM (#42065109) Homepage

    That doesn't work because any basic anti-depression medication will stop people from having nervous reactions when lying.

    Just a minor nit-pick: that's not anti-depressants, that's anti-anxiety. Anti-depressants generally take 2-3 weeks to even start working and they do not affect nervousness. I just quit anti-depressants, so I'd say I know.

  • Re:It Believes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:38AM (#42065313) Homepage

    The unspoken intention of the airport security is that it's better to have a few hundred people killed at the security checkpoint than have someone get control of an airplane and fly it into a building. The security isn't to protect the passengers, that's just a PR campaign.

    The new cabin doors and increased passenger awareness already achieved that. Job done.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:03AM (#42065409)

    1 - Why don't you go back to the time when you spent a minimal amount of money on scanning passengers looking for a needle in a haystack, and instead concentrated on intelligence and infiltration of terrorist groups so that you can concentrate your resources?

    2 - Why don't you realise that 'terrorists' (and there seem to be very few of them nowadays) aren't doing it because 'they hate our freedom' but because they're pissed off with some foreign activity we've undertaken? Rethinking some of the mad and pointless wars we've been starting would cut back on the terrorist threat AND improve the government's popularity with the 75% of the voters who aren't part of the military/arms production complex...

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas