Truth to Power

Hey hey TSA why don’t you go the f away?

TSA Secure Flight: The Next TSA Privacy Threat?

If you ever intend to fly again, you will encounter yet another Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that will be administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ascertain you are not a terrorist. The Secure Flight program requires airlines to collect and transmit each passenger’s full name, date of birth and gender at least 72 hours before a flight. Secure Flight may be aimed at making flying safer, but there is already a report that the TSA Secure Flight initiative may be making your privacy less secure.

According to The Washington Post, a Southwest Airlines passenger was required to update frequent-flyer account details to match Secure Flight information, but he then received a birthday card in the mail. He asked “the TSA about the personal information used for the program, and a representative pointed me to a statement on the agency’s Web site assuring air travelers that the data are collected, used, distributed, stored and disposed of according to stringent guidelines and all applicable privacy laws and regulations.” A Southwest Airlines representative later told him, “We protect [Secure Flight] information the same as we would protect credit card information and only use it for the information that is required by the TSA.” Just the same, his Secure Flight date of birth information resulted in promotional marketing sent to his home.

American Airlines may be the first to require all passengers to have Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) in their reservation at least 72 hours prior to departure, but they won’t be the only airline with these requirements. According to KDS, an international provider of Travel & Expense management systems, after November 1, 2010, “any airline failing to comply with the Secure Flight program risks a financial penalty.” </em>

More meddling from the incompetents. Security kabuki yet again.


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