In case you haven't heard, USA Today reported that the final tweaks are being made to a new government initiative to prevent mistakes being made with passengers on what the industry calls, no-fly list or terrorist watch list. Under the present system, airlines compare your name when booking to a list of suspected terrorists. If a match occurs, you have a problem. Unfortunately, that list has proven to contain names of Congressmen, among others.
The new and improved system will be taken over by the Department of Homeland Security. Airlines, starting in January, will require full names and birthdays of travelers and then forward those to the DHS, which will check their validity through a centralized system, hopefully eliminating mistakes of identity. The initiative is expected to cost the government and passengers around three billion dollars over the course of ten years.
This initiative has taken years because of complaints by the American Civil Liberties group and has been changed, in scope, numerous times. The effects of a streamlined system remain to be seen, and of course, payment for the system is still in question.