The Washington Post wrote an interesting article regarding the TSA and the private security firms seeking to replace them. The Post found that workers of the private firms compete against each other in airport security-related games to win cash.
It’s a sort of office “March Madness”-style tournament and the rewards are quite lucrative. One private airport security firm says:
“The bonuses are pretty handsome,” Berry said. “We have to be good – equal or better than the feds. So we work at it, and we incentivise.”
Some games are simple: finding illegal items and explosives in carry-on bags. Others are a tad more difficult, like picking locks on luggage or spotting fake would-be terrorists in security videos.
The idea of rewarding airport security officers isn’t a terrible notion, unless said workers exploit the system and try to earn as much bonuses as they can by needlessly searching as many luggages as they can. Which, hm, sounds a lot more possible now that I’ve said it.
To be clear, this isn’t the TSA doing this but rather the private security firms who replace the TSA (with TSA’s blessing). It makes me think that our entire airport security system needs an overhaul and not everything is the TSA’s fault. Read the full report at the Washington Post. [Washington Post]