Would background checks and ID cards be an improvement over junk-touching?

“We’re going to gather information about people we’re going to encounter hours before they arrive. We’ll compare names and travel partners to lists of people, not just no-fly lists, but anyone who’s suspect one way or another,” Baker said. “One hundred and ninety-nine people spend 30 seconds in primary [screening] getting an ID check and moved on, but one person in 200 gets an hour of screening, reviewing their personal effects, and an interrogation that’s very free ranging.”…

Some don’t like to be touched, but others are troubled by the idea of a security officer in a separate room examining an image of their body. Others don’t mind those intrusions, but draw the line at authorities scrutinizing their travel history, travel partners or interrogating them about where they’re going and why.

In 2003, privacy advocates, fearing “big brother” intrusions, convinced Congress to block TSA access to itineraries and related information on domestic air travelers, though the government does review information for international flights. A new version of the domestic program gives TSA more limited information, including the names, birth dates and gender information of passengers.

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