Shocking!!! TSA Paid $47K To IBM For An iPad App That Shows An Arrow To Users
According to Mashable, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has revealed that IBM was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security for $47,400 to build the TSA randomiser app.
Kevin Burke, a San Francisco-based developer who received TSA documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request published Sunday evening that the TSA paid IBM $336,413.59 for “mobile application development” services, of which an amount of $47,400 was used to develop randomization software for the TSA. Other publicly available records show the app was part of a larger contract with IBM worth more than $1.4 million.
For those unfamiliar, Burke had filed a FOIA request in December 2014 regarding the “TSA Randomizer” iPad application, which was basically used like so: A TSA agent holding an iPad would tap the app. If a left arrow appeared, the traveller went in the left security-check lane; a right arrow, right.
As the website reported: “The app was used by TSA agents to randomly assign passengers to different PreCheck lines as part of a now-discontinued program called ‘managed inclusion.’”
Back in August 2013, TSA administrator John Pistole said when the TSA randomiser was being piloted that the main purpose was to make it more difficult for terrorists to predict patterns in security lines and to reduce potential of racial profiling. The app was used in more than 100 U.S. airports, reports Bloomberg.
The TSA is no longer using the randomizer app. After the agency came under fire for putting a convicted felon in a pre-check line, it ended managed inclusion in 2015. TSA is also falling back on its practice of randomly assigning passengers to PreCheck lanes over security concerns.
YouTuber Chris Pacia in Android Studio has quickly coded the very same app that TSA spent tens of thousands of dollars upon.
Watch the entire 11:27 video above that shows the making of the app in 10 minutes.