TSA issues RFI on physical ID alternatives


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an emerging requirement for an alternative method of verification when a passenger cannot present an acceptable identity document.

TSA is seeking a Contractor Owned and Contractor Operated solution to verify a passenger’s identity in real time, without relying on the physical form of identification or their biometrics.

TSA aims to have this technical solution provide a consent-based and scalable platform where the identity assurance services potentially are fee-based and funded by those who use the services. 

Under the system the TSA is contemplating, a private contractor would develop an app to ask the traveler challenge questions based on both government and commercial data about the person. It would then produce a pass/fail to be shown at the TSA checkpoint.

The digital services application will potentially be fee-based. In the event that a fee is collected, it would be for the purpose of offsetting the cost of operating the application and identity assurance services and would be paid directly to the application vendor. The TSA would not be party to the financial transaction nor be in receipt of any the funds generated by providing the service to the public. 

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