You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

TSA says it tested tracking Bluetooth signals

The Transportation Security Administration recently experimented with technology to track airline passengers’ Bluetooth signals, according to documents obtained by Cox Media Group’s Washington Bureau.

Sensors in the terminal would hone in on signals from Bluetooth hands-free cell phone earpieces in an effort to predict wait times at security checkpoints.

According to an internal TSA document, it worked by “…detecting signals broadcast to the public by individual devices and calculating a wait time as the signal passes sensors positioned to cover the area in which passengers may wait in line.”

The TSA scrapped the idea — without explanation — after testing it at airports in Las Vegas and Indianapolis.

“We’re not comfortable with the monitoring of Bluetooths,” said Brandon Mascata, spokesman for the Association of Airline Passenger Rights. “It’s consistent with a far-reaching invasion of privacy.”

The information was encrypted and destroyed within two hours, according to the TSA.

Early Wednesday evening, the agency said it did post signs to inform passengers the technology was in use.

According to the TSA, the signs said, “TSA is testing the use of Bluetooth technology in this area to calculate wait times. If you do not wish to participate, you can turn off your Bluetooth device or disable the Bluetooth feature. TSA will encrypt Bluetooth addresses and delete all data with in hours. Your safety is our priority.”

A TSA spokesman did not immediately answer whether those signs were posted in Las Vegas and Indianapolis during the 2012 pilot program.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Winter to take a break?
Winter to take a break?

You have to admit, it seemed winter was going to get off to a brutal start when we received 3 to 6 inches of snow about 10 days before Christmas. Since then, we’ve had a couple of one to two inch snowfalls but nothing major. Over the weekend, we had to deal with some ice. But it seems this January has been known to cause a little “weather...
Nicole Kidman clarifies call for nation to unite behind Donald Trump
Nicole Kidman clarifies call for nation to unite behind Donald Trump

Actress Nicole Kidman clarified her comments on President-elect Donald Trump and the 2016 election results after coming under fire for suggesting that the nation should unify behind the incoming president. “I just say, [Trump's] now elected, and we as a country need to support whoever’s the president because that’s what...
Trump slams 'Saturday Night Live' after press conference sketch
Trump slams 'Saturday Night Live' after press conference sketch

It's not the first time Trump has criticized "SNL." Last month, he called the show "unwatchable" and "biased," slamming Baldwin's portrayal of him. He also previously called the show "boring and unfunny" and "totally one-sided."
Scattered showers ahead tonight
Scattered showers ahead tonight

Patchy fog developed in spots overnight with drizzle possible during the early morning. Drivers may see a few slick spots, especially in the far northern Miami Valley where temperatures have been at or below freezing much of the night. Patchy fog and drizzle early Monday morning Rain chances increase Monday through Tuesday ...
Superbug resistant to all U.S. antibiotics kills Nevada woman
Superbug resistant to all U.S. antibiotics kills Nevada woman

The victim, who is unnamed, was in her 70s. She was initially hospitalized in August 2016 after returning from a trip to India. There, she had sought treatment for a broken hip several times in recent years, most recently in June 2016. Her most recent hospitalization, according to a postmortem CDC report, was in June 2016. The victim died of septic...
More Stories