USA Today reports that fliers who are considered a problem by airlines can be put into a federal Department of Homeland Security database that has been in existence since 2007. Such incidents (based on incident reports that the TSA writes when a screener says a traveler has threatened or attacked him) can also be reported to the fliers’ employers.
Airline passengers who get frustrated and kick a wall, throw a suitcase or make a pithy comment to a screener could find themselves in a little-known Homeland Security database. […]
Privacy advocates fear the database could feed government watch lists and subject innocent people to extra airport screening.
“Is this going to be the baby watch list? There’s a potential for the misuse of information or the mischaracterization of harmless events as potential threats,” American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Michael German said.
A TSA report says the database can include names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers of people involved in airport incidents, including aggressors, victims and witnesses. […]
A TSA document published in February says database information can be given to government agencies and to airports, airlines and rail and bus systems in cases involving their workers or job applicants. “They may be contacted by the TSA if an incident involves their employee,” [Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Kristin Lee] said.