After it set a goal of enrolling 25 million Americans in the TSA PreCheck expedited screening program, the government started looking for ways to get more travelers enrolled by using private-sector vendors. But now it has abruptly canceled that effort.
That’s good news for travelers who feel like the program was getting a little too popular, leading to longer waits.
The reason? Cybersecurity worries.
Last year, the agency sought additional companies it could work with to set up enrollment centers around the country; TSA this year has also been adding staff, increasing hours of operation and opening more locations for its existing enrollment program as it increased marketing efforts to draw consumers in.
But the agency recently ended that search, citing “concerns about the ability to ensure vendors properly safeguard testing data in light of the increased and evolving cybersecurity risks over the past year.”
“As currently written, there is risk in using personally identifiable information during the testing phase of the process,” TSA noted. “While risk mitigations were included in the current RFP testing approach to protect the sensitive data during testing, TSA has determined it will no longer accept the risk associated with sharing the test data.”
The agency said it try again in near future once it can be sure it aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s best practices for cybersecurity. PreCheck currently has almost four million members, and has said it hopes to reach 25 million by 2019.
TSA already works with MorphoTrust USA, which operates IdentoGO PreCheck enrollment centers around the country. This past summer, the company beefed up that effort by opening temporary sign-up locations at hotels in major cities and airports.
You can search for a PreCheck enrollment center near you through the IdentoGO site at https://www.identogo.com/precheck.
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