Why is my photo being collected as part of my TSA PreCheck (r) Application Program enrollment? At TSA checkpoints equipped with face recognition technology, the TSA takes a photograph to verify an individual's identification. Only those renewing in person or enrolling for the first time will have their photo taken. There is no penalty for refusing to participate in this program.
TSA says it uses the photos for research purposes only. However, there have been reports that airlines and law enforcement have used the photos as well.
If you do not want your photo taken or updated as part of your enrollment, then you should decline the offer when presented with this screen.
Your photo does not go into any government database; it is kept private by default. But if you give your consent, the TSA can share your image with other agencies such as border control or airline security.
Agencies may use your photo to conduct research or train new systems. If you prefer not to be included in these activities, you should let the agency know when you are asked to review and update your profile.
Some travelers may feel uncomfortable having their photo taken as part of this process. You should know that anyone who refuses to have their photo taken will not be able to enroll in the program. However, there are ways around this issue if you are concerned about privacy concerns.
Families that learn one or more members have received a random TSA PreCheck stamp must determine whether or not to split during the screening process. The designation is not granted to the remainder of the group by a single random stamp. Instead, each member receives a separate stamp for passing through security.
Those selected for TSA PreCheck are notified via email. If you don't remember receiving notification, look in your spam folder. The letter also appears to include other travelers who were randomly selected but didn't make it into the program. These "missed" passengers may get back their tickets if they want by contacting the airline directly.
The decision to accept or decline a request for TSA PreCheck is up to the traveler. There is no cost associated with being selected for this program.
If you decide to join TSA PreCheck, there are some additional requirements:
You must be able to pass a background check. This means someone at the agency will need to do some research on you before granting you permission to travel without removing certain items from your luggage.
You must meet physical criteria. You must be able to carry a digital photograph of yourself holding up two fingers when standing in line at a checkpoint. (This ensures that you're not an armed passenger.)
There might be various explanations for this. You are a regular flyer for a particular airline. You have a credit card for airlines. The TSA knows you as a frequent flyer and encourages you to use pre-check so you will support the program. The security screening process for pre-check passengers is shorter than usual so they can get through security faster.
If you qualify, you will be notified via email that you have been selected for TSA's PreCheck program. If you decide to join, there is an initial screening process that requires information about yourself and your household members. The personal information collected during this screening includes name, date of birth, gender, address, phone number, email address, physical description, passport number/date of issue/expiration date, driver's license or state ID number/serial number, and financial information. This screening also includes a digital photograph.
Once the TSA has confirmed that you meet the requirements for PreCheck, you will be given a token number. This token number will be printed on your boarding pass at check-in counters at airports across the country. It is important to bring this document with you when you travel because it serves as proof of your status in the program. If questioned by agents, you can show your boarding pass to prove that you were approved for PreCheck.