Aviation securityBehavior-based solution keeps airports secure, passengers' privacy intact

Published 24 November 2010

Israeli company WeCU says its behavior-based security solution addresses many of the problems now encountered at U.S. airports; the WeCU concept exploits human characteristics and behavior: when a person intends to carry out a particular activity or has a significant acquaintance or involvement with a subject, he carries with him information and feelings that are associated with the activity or the subject; the WeCU system identifies this associative connection by actively exposing the person being screened to stimuli targeted at a specific threat, followed by detection of the person’s physiological reaction, or response, to the stimuli through nonintrusive biometric sensors; the system detects the individual’s reaction without his or her knowledge and without requiring their cooperation, and without interfering with routine activities

Some of the critics of tight security screening at U.S. airports say that rather than subject all passengers to the same security screening, TSA should unabashedly use profiling in order to concentrate on those groups in the population — presumably Middle Eastern-looking men between the ages of 15 and 45 — who, statistically (and, we should add, empirically and historically) are more likely to carry explosives on board. These critics are quick to add that it is because of political correctness that such profiling is not being used, resulting in old ladies and young children — and all passengers in between — being subject to intrusive security checks which are but a waste of time and resources.

There is a surface plausibility to such arguments, but they are wrong. We do not mean to sound insensitive or flippant, but if al Qaeda operators realized that old ladies are not being screened at airports, they would find a granny dying of cancer who might be willing to sacrifice herself, and die a few months ahead of schedule, if her family was handsomely rewarded. Palestinian militants sent kids as young as 14 to carry out suicide missions (of course, Hamas and PLO leaders did not send their own kids on these missions) — as well as pregnant women. They figured out — correctly, initially — that young children and pregnant women would find it easier to go through security checks.

Ehud Givon, CEO of Israeli company WeCU, wrote us to say that his company’s security solution would address many of the problems now encountered at U.S. airports.

Nearly a year ago we noticed WeCU’s solution, and wrote:

Israel’s WeCu claims a 95 percent success rate for its new terrorist detection system that monitors reactions to visual stimuli at airports and checkpoints. The company’s device flashes stimuli, such as photos, a symbol, or a code word, relating to the information authorities are most interested in (whether it is terrorism, drug smuggling, or other crimes), to passengers as they pass through terminal checkpoints. Hidden biometric sensors then detect the subjects’ physical reactions and subtle behavioral changes remotely or during random contact (“Sorting the bad guys from the good,” 4 February 2010 HSNW).

Here is an update about what the company offers.


WeCU says the true challenge is to find the bomber, not the bomb. The WeCU system integrates methods and doctrines from the behavioral sciences with advanced biometric sensors. In