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Waste at the TSA: Agency spends $1.4 million on ‘left or right’ app

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Have you caught a flight recently and noticed a TSA agent standing next to an iPad that points left or right to direct passengers which security lane to go through?  It’s basically a random number generator used for low-risk travelers designed so that no one can predict which passengers will get extra screening, and many in the tech industry are having a good laugh at the expense and use of the project.

According to Geek.com, these apps are one of the most simple and basic programming functions a coder learns, similar to a 100 level course for college freshman.  That’s why it’s so astonishing that the TSA blew a total of $1.4 million of hard working American’s tax dollars on the project, which was $336,413.59 just on the app development alone, completed by IBM.  Similar software is available for free, but could also be developed securely by many companies for a few thousand dollars according to the report.

It’s not known where the other $1 million for the program went to, but it’s likely training and possibly hardware was involved, which is still a ridiculous amount for an app that tells people to go left or right.

The information was brought to light by a Freedom of Information Act request by Kevin Burke.

Also, as described by a TSA agent in the video above, if the lines get too long, they don’t even use it.

That’s your federal government, hard at work ladies and gentlemen.

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