Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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.

"This is the third time in the past nine month that knowledge of the scope of secret information disclosures by airlines has expanded, and now six of the 10 largest airlines are known to have given data to the government secretly. Stone's disclosure also raises questions about whether TSA officials intentionally withheld information from previous inquiries by the Government Accounting Office, members of Congress and the Department of Homeland Security's chief privacy officer, Nuala O'Connor Kelly."

Let's review. The airlines broke the law by violating their own privacy policies. The TSA broke the law by repeatedly denying what they now admit, even in the face of court orders and FOIA requests. The TSA or its contractors broke the law (The Privacy Act) by compiling a secret database on Americans. It also appears that the TSA lied to the GAO and to Congress directly.

To date, none of the passengers whose data was provided to the TSA by six of the ten largest airlines and the two largest airline reservation systems have been notified that their information has illegally been transferred to the government and aggregated into a database system by contractors.

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