Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Federal Agency Collected Extensive Personal Data About Airline
Passengers Despite Pledge

A great example of how government cannot be trusted (quoted directly from Dave Farber's IP list, slightly edited).

Remarkably, I think [this] AP story understates the extent of the privacy violations by TSA and its contractor.

According to TSA's revised "system of records" notice and privacy impact assessment, they didn't just get more data about June 2004 air travelers.

They took 42,000 of those names and for each "created up to twenty variations of a person's first and last names" — then submitted both the 42,000 real names and an extra 240,000 new names to three commercial data brokers (Acxiom, InsightAmerica, and Qsent).

TSA didn't say how many of these 282,000 names yielded commercial dossiers. But it's clear that personal information about many tens of thousands of people who didn't even fly in June 2004 must have been turned over.

This goes way beyond a "routine" change in the official definitions.

Note that under the Privacy Act, willful violation of the law regarding "systems of records" notices is a criminal misdemeanor. 5 U.S.C. � 552a(i)(2) ("Any officer or employee of any agency who willfully maintains a system of records without meeting the notice requirements of subsection (e)(4) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000."). I'm not aware of any prosecutions under this provision, however.

Blog home
Blog archives