Something tells me that the ACLU will be all over this one. Personally, I have no problem with this 'Terror Risk' Color Labels Coming For All US Fliers By Mary Lou Pickel The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 8-3-3 The Transportation Security Administration plans to begin testing new computerized background checks to determine which airline passengers are potential terrorists. But in response to privacy concerns, the agency no longer plans to delve into travelers' creditworthiness or medical records, the agency said Thursday. Testing will begin almost immediately, using personal information on travelers collected in airline reservation systems and commercially available databases, said Dennis Murphy, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman. "We're trying to determine if this traveler is a real person as opposed to [whether they are] making it it up," Murphy said. Information would be used to assign a risk level -- green, yellow or red -- to all travelers. Those with higher levels would get extra scrutiny at airports. Testing of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System could last six months, if everything goes well, Murphy said. It won't be used to make security screening decisions on real passengers, but as testing progresses, "we'll get closer and closer to live tests," Murphy said. "If someone pops up who is on the terror watch list or a no-fly list, we'd probably take action," he said. The idea of an advanced passenger screening program began taking shape shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings. Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration and Delta Air Lines conducted a very basic test to see whether their computer systems could communicate with each other, Murphy said. The agency in March awarded a $12.8 million contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to link commercial databases, such as a database of addresses or phone numbers, with airline travel data and government terrorist watch lists. Airline travel records contain information such as how travelers paid for their tickets, who else they may be traveling with and their itinerary. The TSA's decision to leave credit and medical records out of the system doesn't satisfy all critics, some of whom view the plan as part of a larger threat to civil liberties posed by post-Sept. 11 security initiatives. "These are potentially fundamental changes in the relationship of the individual and the government, to have the government assigning risk scores to all of us," Jay Stanley, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Associated Press. Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, remains leery. "Unless there's legal restraint, people will find other ways to use these systems," he said. "These private-sector databases are notorious for the number of errors they contain." The Homeland Security agency has hired a chief privacy officer to help address concerns. It also says airline passengers will be able to complain about incorrect information to an agency ombudsman. The TSA says it will no longer keep information on high-risk passengers for 50 years, as an earlier policy document indicated. In most cases, the risk assessment and the information used to create it will be erased after the passenger's itinerary is completed, in a set number of days, Murphy said. Airlines generally favor the use of a computer screening system because it could reduce the current reliance on physical screening at airports, which slows passenger processing.