updated 5/4/2005 1:12:56 PM ET 2005-05-04T17:12:56

Airline passengers soon will be asked to provide their full names and birth dates when they buy tickets.

In coming weeks, the Transportation Security Administration plans to require airlines to solicit the information. Passengers do not have to provide it, though if they don’t there’s a better chance they’ll have to undergo more stringent screening at the airport, Justin Oberman, the TSA official in charge of the program, said Wednesday.

Oberman said having passengers’ full names and birth dates will make it less likely that they’ll be confused with people who are known or suspected terrorists.

“Far fewer people will be inconvenienced than they are today,” Oberman said.

Such confusion has brought the TSA much criticism. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is among those whose name matched someone on a watch list.

The request for extra information is part of the TSA’s effort to build a new computerized passenger screening program, called Secure Flight.

Secure Flight would allow the TSA to take over from the airlines the responsibility of checking passengers’ names against the watch lists. The TSA plans to begin Secure Flight with two airlines in August.

The program is supposed to work by transferring airline passengers’ name records — which can include address, phone number and credit card information — to a government database. The government computer would flag names on the watch list and identify passengers who would be asked to go through additional screening.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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