The mobile app is called FlyRights. Travelers who suspect they have been profiled take out their smartphone, tap a finger on the app and answer about a dozen questions. Then they hit "submit" and an official complaint is filed immediately with the Transportation Security Administration.
The app is the work of civil rights groups led by The Sikh Coalition. Amardeep Singh, co-founder of the Coalition, says the idea came from Sikh entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley who felt they were being stopped unfairly at airports, too often.
"They literally said to one of our staff members, 'There should be an app for that'," Amardeep said. "We thought, great idea, let's start working on it."
The app has already been tested with the TSA. Amardeep hopes the app will encourage more people to file complaints so that there is more accurate data on improper screening.
Stripped Of Dignity
Hardayal Singh has a long, black beard and wears a dark olive turban. He's the director of United Sikhs, a human rights advocacy group — but he isn't related to Amardeep by blood; most Sikh men share the name of Singh.
Many Sikh men — and some women — also wear turbans, called dastaars, to cover their kesh, or uncut hair. Hardayal says the turban is meant to serve as a symbol of equality and justice, but at airports, turbans lead to extra scrutiny.