So we’re all looking fairly grim as we go through the security line at the airport, but then waiting at a bend in the line is a pretty cute guy with a diamond earring and “TSA” all over his uniform. You know the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) people; they’re the ones who have brought misery to thousands and maybe millions of travelers coming in and out of US airports.
So not only is he cute and has a diamond earring, but he is very friendly and jokey! How suspicious can you get!?! As I went past, totally ignored by this warm sociable guy, I said “I work in cognitive science and I’m really interested in how you all are trained.”
“Look up behavior detection officer,” he said. And so I did. Here it is, from their point of view.
USA Today had an article in November that details a number of concerns about the violation of privacy. The bottom line is that the science of reading faces and behavior is not well enough developed! Hmmmm. Sounds like a line for a grant application.
“We do not do profiling,” the guy said. Alas, I didn’t have time to tell him about implicit biases.