TSA adds 16,500 people to terror watchlist for forgetting ID, then reconsiders

The TSA maintains a list of "suspicious" fliers who do things like forget to take their sewing scissors out of their knitting bags before boarding a flight. To this list, they have added 16,500 fliers who forgot to bring ID to the airport, though they say that forgetting your ID will no longer brand you forever as a potential terrorist. Forgetting your sewing scissors will still go down on your permanent record, though.

The TSA began storing the information in late June, tracking many people who said they had forgotten their driver's license or passport at home. The database has 16,500 records of such people and is open to law enforcement agencies, according to the TSA.

Asked about the program, TSA chief Kip Hawley told USA TODAY in an interview Tuesday that the information helps track potential terrorists who may be "probing the system" by trying to get though checkpoints at various airports.

Later Tuesday, Hawley called the newspaper to say the agency is changing its policy effective today and will stop keeping records of people who don't have ID if a screener can determine their identity. Hawley said he had been considering the change for a month. The names of people who did not have identification will soon be expunged, he said.

Fliers without ID placed on TSA list

(Thanks, Loren!)