Watch Your Pre-Flight Body Language

Airport security personnel could eventually use technology that picks up people’s nonverbal cues as part of the screening process.

In an article on the CNN.com website, Pam Benson says a project funded by the Department of Homeland Security has been testing Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) that measures a person’s heart rate, breathing, eye movement, body temperature and fidgeting.

Test subjects (hired actors) have been asked questions such as “Is this the month of September?” and “Do you plan to detonate an explosive?” Various sensors measured their responses and whether their physiological cues, such as blood pressure and breathing, fell between normal ranges.

The technology has taken close to $20 million to develop. It has met with resistance from civil libertarians, who say it’s an invasion of privacy, and from other critics who say the project is not viable and compare it to science fiction. But if successful, FEMA officials believe it could allow travelers to keep their shoes and jackets on and get through security quicker.

“FAST could be used wherever there are special security concerns,” Benson writes, “including stadiums, convention centers, federal buildings, mass transit centers and airports.”

To read the article, please click here:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/10/06/security.screening/index.html