Passengers to be profiled against police records

Passengers to be profiled against police records

Summary: Passengers with police records can expect extra security checks at airports, a Whitehall source has told ZDNet UK.The government will increasingly use passenger data profiling as a security measure, said the source.

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TOPICS: Security
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Passengers with police records can expect extra security checks at airports, a Whitehall source has told ZDNet UK.

The government will increasingly use passenger data profiling as a security measure, said the source. One criterion for the rules-based checks will be previous behaviour, including behaviour at airports, and criminal behaviour.

The government moved its main passenger profiling centre from Heathrow to Manchester in March. The new Manchester hub is called the National Border Targeting Centre (NBTC), and is part of the e-Borders scheme.

The NBTC is linked to various police and security service databases, said the source, but declined to say whether passenger data was cross-referenced with the Police National Computer (PNC).

Data will be stored for five years in an active database, and then will be stored for a further five years in an archive, said the source. The data will be held for ten years.

A Home Office source argued that holding data for ten years is proportionate, and said it allows various government agencies to keep track of who is coming in and out of the country.

At present, 45 to 50 percent of international passengers are screened and profiled, said the Home Office source. The government aims to screen 100 percent of passengers by 2014.

People are not profiled by their religion, said the source, but they are profiled against previous behaviour.

Data is shared with immigration, customs, and police match lists, said the source. No information is automatically shared with other government departments or organisations, although information may be requested as part of a criminal investigation.

No other countries will have access to the database of passenger data, said the Home Office source, who declined to discuss how points were awarded in the points-based profiling system.

The technology for the e-Borders scheme is provided by the Trusted Borders consortium, which consists of Raytheon, Serco, Accenture, Detica, Qinetiq, Steria, and Capgemini. The scheme is expected to cost £1.2bn over ten years.

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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