Holiday travelers passing through checkpoints at Logan Airport may be surprised when Transportation Security Administration agents ask them questions like, “Where will you be staying while you’re away?” The thing most airline passengers remember about Logan’s controversial behavior-detection security program is that it was put on hold after the TSA officers asking those questions were accused of racially profiling passengers. In fact, TSA quickly restarted the pilot program after the officers attended a four-hour session on why racial profiling is unacceptable.
If travelers are still uneasy about the program, it’s partly because TSA officials haven’t made the case why it’s effective, especially after the troubling accusations. TSA still owes the public some answers: How effective has the program been in stopping terrorism? How will TSA know if racial profiling has stopped? And how confident are TSA officials that one session of sensitivity training will curb incidents of racial bias?