Reply To: Too Cosy? Overly Touchy Frankfurt Security Pat Downs

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Yeah you never see them referring to the back page of that statistics textbook with the tables of randomly generated numbers (or old ERNIE) in deciding which non-bleeping passengers to manually search. Selection of every n passengers for search, whether that includes or excludes those who trigger the bleep so then searched anyway, is not classed as truly random. And any system which involves human judgement, for example on the basis of appearance, gender, age etc, needs no explanation as a non-method of randomisation. A former colleague who used to work at T4 once said to me that n was 4.

Random is a word which like many these days I guess is abused or trivialised. I just remember to keep my mouth shut when they plant it on me, especially when it follows the words “just a”. I’d love to see the Director of R&D get selected!

VK, and only he, might just get away with asking them to “Describe the method of randomisation” – as customers of the UK Integrated Research Application System will savour. Maybe best save that one for the relative safety of T5 though my friend, not Frankfurt!

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