TSA spent over $18.6 million on a ‘non-binary screening system’ rolling out in 2023

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has spent over $18.6 million on developing, testing, and deploying “non-binary screening systems” set to roll out at airports in 2023.

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Fox News reports that the funding for the new “non-binary screening” systems from the FY22 Omnibus Appropriations fund “has been used to improve Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units in airport checkpoints, working with the manufacturer to update the algorithm for “increased accuracy and efficiency.”

TSA’s Executive Director for Travel Engagement Jose Bonilla said that “This technology should really be gender-neutral you know it really should be, and we’re there,”.

The new technology rollout set for January 2023 will allow for “individuals who feel their gender was incorrectly assumed” to now have the option to ask for “a re-screening before submitting to a physical pat-down.”

Reportedly, in February 2022, TSA changed its checkpoint protocols by removing gender considerations when validating the identification of travelers, meaning that TSA employees no longer are required to consider gender information when travelers arrive at the travel document checker podium.

TSA PreCheck also now will be including more “inclusive,” options like an “X” gender marker option on the application. Additionally, in April 2022, TSA started allowing enrollees to self-identify their gender regardless of whether the gender listed on a person’s identification documents matched. 

In response, the TSA says these sorts of measures it is pursuing will “advance civil rights” and “improve the customer experience.”

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