Monday, 14 June 2004

Same old lies from the DHS about CAPPS-II

A human-interest feature in USA Today on Nuala O’Connor Kelley, Chief Privacy Officer for the USA Department of Homeland Security, is accompanied by a sidebar described in the main story as “O’Connor Kelly Q&A” that repeats statements about the CAPPS-II airline passenger profiling and surveillance system that Ms. O’Connor Kelley and other DHS and Transportation Secuirty Administration (TSA) spokespeople have been making for months, but that they have been told repeatedly, and should know by now, are simply false.

According to the O’Connor Kelly Q&A sidebar:

A: The information collected before a flight will be deleted from the database after that travel is completed.

That’s just not true, as Ms. O’Connor Kelley and TSA Privacy Officer Lisa Dean have been told repeatedly, and surely know by now. The only “databases” in which airline reservations are entered before a flight are those maintained by airlines, computerized reservation systems (CRS’s), and sometimes travel agencies and/or tour operators or other intermediaries. None of this data is “deleted” until at least several years after the completion of travel, nor — for financial and tax accounting reasons — could it be. When airlines, CRS’s, or travel agencies say that passenger name records (PNRs) are “purged” some time after the completion of all travel or other services included in the same PNR, what they mean by “purged” is not “deleted” but “moved to permanent archival storage”, typically on magnetic tape and/or microfiche.

Link | Posted by Edward on Monday, 14 June 2004, 17:17 ( 5:17 PM)
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