Secure Flight compared to CAPPS II


""Secure Flight"" Compared to Predecessor Program CAPPS II

Before Secure Flight, the government had proposed an airline profiling program called CAPPS II (for Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System), which was abandoned as unworkable, ineffective, overly invasive of privacy.  The primary differences between Secure Flight are summarized below.

This is the graphic that we originally used to explain the government's CAPPS II proposal, modified to reflect the changes made under Secure Flight:

Secure Flight-CAPPS compared

Here is a chart that summarizes the important changes between the programs.  

Secure Flight Compared to CAPPS II

Program elements


Secure Flight 

Provides no protection against terrorists with fake IDs

Provides no meaningful way for individuals to challenge their security designation

Centers around reliance on secret, inaccurate government terorrist watch lists


Checks personal information against private databases

Requires collection of personal information from travelers making reservations

Expands program beyond terrorists


Uses computer algorithms to rate individuals' ""threat to aviation""



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