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10,000 innocent air travellers stopped annually if profiling introduced, says Spiegelhalter

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10,000 innocent air travellers stopped annually if profiling introduced, says Spiegelhalter

Δημοσίευση από grstats Την / Το Παρ 22 Ιαν 2010 - 10:06

ΠΗΓΗ: RSS NEWS http://www.rssenews.org.uk/articles/20100108_1



Risk guru and RSS fellow David Spiegelhalter has warned that however sophisticated the profiling adopted to catch terrorists amongst air travellers, individuals selected are "overwhelmingly likely to be innocent".

Those passengers required "delicate handling", and the training of security staff needed to "ram that home", Spiegelhalter cautioned.

Following the failed bombing of a flight to Detroit on 25 December, authorities in the US and UK are actively looking at profiling to enhance security. But statisticians and civil liberty campaigners have warned that profiling can never be perfect, and raises serious risks of discrimination on grounds of ethnicity.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's More or Less programme Prof Spiegelhalter explained that with about 100,000m passengers flying from the UK each year, those responsible for security were "looking for a needle in a haystack". Even if profiling were 99.99 accurate, about 10,000 innocent people would be stopped annually.

He commented that the maths was very complex and if profiling were introduced, intelligent terrorist 'adversaries' were likely to modify their behaviour to evade detection. To counter that he suggested the use of game theory with a graded scale of risk, and randomisation of passenger checks.
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