DHS Attempts to Predict Criminal Behavior With Video Surveillance

The Department of Homeland Security is planning to collect video of passengers at T.F. Green Airport in an effort to better understand how people with “malicious intent” behave before committing crimes.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to use video surveillance to study the behavior of individuals with “malicious intent” prior to them committing crimes.

A 14-page DHS privacy assessment reveals that the department’s Science and Technology Directorate is preparing to collect video of passengers at T.F. Green Airport in Providence, R.I., for its “Data Collection of the Centralized Hostile Intent Project,” Personal Liberty reports.

DHS will use the video surveillance to see if agents will be able to single out actors carrying out simulated terror plots from crowds made up of the traveling public.

The Science and Technology Directorate will collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in the form of facial images and anthropomorphic data. The division will collect PII from trained, volunteer actors posing as passengers. As a result, information on some airport employees and members of the traveling public who are near the actors may also be collected.

The division will gather video images at designated areas throughout the airport, including a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint, ticket counter, baggage claim and airport entrance.

DHS will record the volunteer actors role-playing in a series of different scenarios.

Audio will not be recorded at any time, Personal Liberty reports. During the recording, DHS will block off collection sites when possible, and physical access to the video viewing area will be limited to the actors, TSA officers and project staff.

The TSA will assist DHS in conducting the test.

Some fear that if DHS adopts the strategy in the future, it could mean that unsuspecting travelers could be red-flagged as potential terrorists for any number of benign mannerisms or actions.

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