Tuesday, December 28, 2010

German Airports Want To Upstage US...Propose Passenger Profiling

Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday that designated President of the Federation of German Airports, Christoph Blume, is proposing Israeli-style passenger profiling in German airports.

Using this technique, passengers are checked with varying degrees of thoroughness depending on their age, sex, ethnic background, flight booking information and other metrics.

Profiling certainly has its advocates but I remain unconvinced. Leaving aside the obvious legal, racial and societal implications and focusing on security only, profiling is very flawed.

For one, it broadcasts to the world its points of weakness. If you're young, male, arab...you're getting strip searched and humiliated so don't even bother. If you're middle aged, female, caucasian....we probably won't even bat an eyelid. Who do you think terrorist groups and , for that matter, drug smugglers would send on board?

Actually, you don't even need to find someone of a different age or ethnicity. Watch this:

So with a simple mask this passenger was able to pass the following stringent standard security checks at Hong Kong International Airport:

1- Boarding passes and passports checked by as many as two different guards before entering the "departure hall"

2- In the departure hall, boarding passes and passports are checked again while luggage goes through x-ray and people go through metal detectors.

3- Next passengers hand their passport over, individually, to a Hong Kong immigration official and, presumably, answer some questions before being allowed to proceed.

4- Finally, at the gate, passengers are asked to show their boarding pass and matching ID before physically boarding the plane.

The asylum seeker in the above video did all of this in A MASK!!! The only reason he was discovered is he intentionally took it off mid-flight. He did this because he knew, or was told, authorities would be waiting for him on the ground and he could immediately put in his asylum request whereby, under Canadian law, he cannot be deported until a court hears his case which can take 2-3 years.

Thank heavens this man meant no harm!

So, profiling?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Meh, if that is the level of professionalism your "profiling" experts bring to the table, you are hosed. Profiling only works when it is done PROPERLY. When you lose a plane or two it might sink in then.