Tuesday, 21 October 2003

USA airlines say privacy must come before CAPPS-II tests

According to this article in today's Christian Science Monitor, "The Air Transport Association, which represents America's commercial airlines, is just as adamant that proper protections be put in place before they give anyone's private information to the government. They're particularly sensitive since the recent controversy over JetBlue, which provided a defense contractor passenger information, without the passenger's knowledge. "We're in very intense negotiations with the TSA," says the ATA's Doug Wills. "You can't have higher levels of protection without taking steps to secure customers' private information.""

This is getting really interesting. This isn't IATA, which represents airlines worldwide, mostly outside the USA, and might be expected to listen to concerns from other countries. ATA is strictly a lobbying group for USA-based airlines.

If even ATA is arguing that we need better privacy protection in the USA before airlines start turning over passenger records to the government, even for testing purposes, it's high time for someone in Congress to introduce a travel privacy bill.

More and more I think that the silver lining in the jetBlue Airways privacy scandal and the misguided push for CAPPS-II will be a federal travel privacy law. With the major USA-based airlines on board, it's not a question of whether, but of when, and of what the law will say.

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 21 October 2003, 21:00 ( 9:00 PM)
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