American Airlines wants to know everything about you

Another BoingBoing post, but much more serious than conceptual art: if Cory Doctorow’s experience is typical, then it seems American Airlines now expects passengers to provide the names and addresses of everybody they intend to stay with in the USA.

They claimed that this was due to a TSA [Transport Security Administration] regulation, but refused to state which regulation required them to gather this information, nor what they would do with it once they’d gathered it.

… I asked for the name or number of the regulation, its text, and the details of the data-retention and privacy practices in place at AA UK. The security officer wasn’t able to answer my questions, and she went to get her supervisor.

After several minutes, her supervisor appeared and said, after introducing himself, “Sir, this is for your own protection.”

3 thoughts on “American Airlines wants to know everything about you

  1. ms. mac says:

    I clicked and had a read of that post and frankly, that is absolutely outrageous! How much more invasion of privacy do we have to take? Thankfully, I don’t fit the mould of your average terrorist/murderer/drug smuggler (Usually travelling with 3 children and look so harrassed that if you even look in my direction I will bite your head off) and am not subjected to too many searches, questioning (and have even flown post 9/11 with a pen-knife in my handbag- Lufthansa) while in airports etc but the temptation to shout “it’s none of your business” to every official I come across who asks me ridiculous questions in everyday situations is becoming harder to resist.

  2. Gary says:

    This kind of thing is why I’m so against schemes such as ID cards, which we’re sold on the basis that if you have nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear. That may be true, but the thing that worries me isn’t that I have something to hide; it’s that these things are always subject to “mission creep”. Cory’s story is a good example of that: something reasonable being taken to ridiculous extremes.

    A fairly innocuous example of mission creep in action was when the UK govt changed the laws to allow cops to stop cars and breathalyse motorists; previously they needed to observe a crime or potential crime before they could pull you over. Fine, but thanks to mission creep the cops can pull you over and check your tyres, your tax disc; I’ve had my car stopped at a roadblock and searched during a crackdown on burglary. All of that from anti-drink driving, which no reasonable person would disagree with. Mission creep.

    I think it’s a safe bet to assume if people in a position of au

  3. Gary says:

    Gah, exceeded the comment limit. That last sentence was: it’s a safe bet to assume that if people in a position of authority can abuse something to increase their power, they will.

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