Saturday, October 08, 2005

Commentary on new international passenger info transfer rule

As of this week, the US Government requires all airlines, cruise ship companies and others to provide the Department of Homeland Security with detailed passenger information in standard, electronic format. The Practical Nomad notes this new development and offers a strong opinion on the new regulations. While the government may have an interest in obtaining this information, the author is more than a little upset that passengers are required to hand it over to the carriers (which are often unregulated in what they do with the info), who then pass it to the government:

The Practical Nomad blog: USA requires passenger details from international airlines:

"... But that's not what the rule requires: the rule gives travellers no option to provide the required information directly to the CBP. Instead, the rule requires airlines to provide passengers' personal information to the CBP, effecting requiring travellers -- if the airlines are to be able to comply, without which airlines' passengers won't be allowed to travel -- to turn over their information to the airlines as well as the government.

Both the final rule and the PIA entirely ignore the implications of requiring passengers to provide detailed personal information to, at a minimum, airlines (and, in most cases, other companies such as Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS's) and travel agencies), under government order, without imposing any restrictions whatsoever on the ability or authority of the recipient airlines and other companies to use, rent, or sell the information that passengers will be forced to give them, without any requirement for notice or consent. This government-compelled transfer of rights in personal data to unregulated private entities is the real violation of privacy rights in the new rule...."

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