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Homeland Security Secretly Films Citizens to Predict Crime

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Traveling through the T. F. Green Airport of Providence, Rhode Island?

If so, the Department of Homeland Security may be “inadvertently” filming video of you as part of a project to sniff out behavioral indicators of “malicious intent.”

In other words, the DHS wants to use video images of passengers to predict crimes.

On Tuesday, the DHS quietly released online a “privacy impact assessment” that provides the legal justification for an ongoing experiment it is calling “Data Collection for the Centralized Hostile Intent Project.”

The DHS is planning to collect video images at designated areas throughout the airport, including at TSA security checkpoints, ticket counters, baggage claim and the airport entrance. No audio will be recorded at any time, states the document.

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The stated goal is to evaluate “whether the behavioral indicators used to screen for passengers with hostile intent can be reliably observed by BDOs (Behavior Detection Officers) via live video images as opposed to in person.”

The document states the video data acquisition will entail collecting and even storing “Personally Identifiable Information in the form of video images that include the face and body of trained actors and members of the traveling public.”

The experiment, the paper makes clear, is focused on video collection of trained actors at designated airport areas. However, it concedes that the agency “may incidentally collect Personally Identifiable Information from members of the traveling public and airport personnel who may be near them.”

The DHS paper says it will delete and not store any video of passengers “inadvertently” collected while filming the trained actors.

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