Airlines & TSA: “Woops. We Totally Lied About That Privacy Policy Thing”

Via Slashdot comes and interesting story by Wired New: “More False Information From TSA”:

Delta, Continental, America West, JetBlue and Frontier Airlines secretly turned over sensitive passenger data to Transportation Security Administration contractors in the spring and summer of 2002, according to the sworn statement of acting TSA chief David Stone. In addition, two of the four largest airline reservation centers, Galileo International and Sabre, also gave sensitive passenger information, including home phone numbers, credit card numbers and health data, without disclosing the transfers to travelers or asking their permission. {emphasis added}

[…]

In November 2003, the senators also asked Stone’s predecessor, retired Adm. James Loy, whether “any contractors working on CAPPS II used any real-world data for testing purposes.” Loy led the TSA from July 2002 until he was promoted to the second-highest position in the Department of Homeland Security in October 2003.

Loy’s sworn written response was, “No. TSA has not used any (passenger) data to test any of the functions of CAPPS II.”

Two TSA spokesmen also made false statements to Wired News about the extent of the transfers.

One of the best summations of the problem with news like this was said by one of the readers at Slashdot:

Nobody’s going to get fired over this, nobody’s going to go to jail over this, nobody’s going to even care about this.

If you do, you’re un-American. Welcome to McCarthyism, population: you.

Airlines Gave More Data Than Previously Disclosed [Slashdot]
More False Information From TSA [Wired News]
Comment: It’s legal when you make the laws [Slashdot]

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