Saturday, October 07, 2006

Security or Privacy?

A recent agreement between the US DHS and The European Union over airline passenger data has some Europeans in a huff.

Their concerns revolve around data protection and personal privacy.

1st) The new agreement DOES NOT increase the amount of data shared. It simply formalizes theexchange mechanisms and ensures more stringent requirements upon US Government agencis and any sharing

Data Sharing Agreement Reached

2nd) This data was ALREADY being shared, shortly after the Sep 11 attacks.

3rd) Where does the line between security and privacy exist? In normal life, I am highly in favor of coming down strngly on the privay side. Now when the question turns to Air Travel wherein 300-3000 lives can be put at risk by a terrorist or group of terrorists then clearly security must probe quite a bit farther.

4th) The details

country of citizenship
payment method (including credit card information)
passport details

These are all quite reasonable bits of information to ask for regarding foreign passengers coming ino The USA. All of thse bits can be bounced against watch lists and produce red flags which when added up generate a risk assessment of particular flights or passeners.

5th) Right vs. Privilege

Remember, for NON-US Citizens, entry into the United States is a PRIVILEGE NOT a Right. Just as entry to any other sovereign country is the same. If you do not wish to fulfill the required entry requirements (including providing the required information) it's simple, don't come to The USA.


At October 07, 2006 3:44 PM, Blogger David Young said...

In 1997 I remember getting questioned by the desk at McCarran because I had booked a one-way flight (internal, to LAX). I didn't understand why that mattered and was told it was to do with terrorism. I said something sarcastic like 'So terrorists don't book return flights' and got a cold look. I realised that they were trying to do their best and backtracked.

I recall Gordon McMahon telling me that about ten years ago he'd been grilled on arrival in the US because he'd paid for his ticket in cash on the day of the flight (or one day before). These things were being noticed back then.



Post a Comment

<< Home