'Secure Flight' arouses concerns

Old Nov 22, 04, 8:15 am
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'Secure Flight' arouses concerns

Trivalley Herald Article

"If the European Union should determine that Secure Flight violates its privacy laws, airlines would be put in a bind. If they should comply with the TSA's orders, they would risk being fined by the European Union for violating EU privacy laws. If they should obey the European Union, they risk fines from the United States.

Airlines have been meeting to decide what to do, said Doug Wills, spokesman for the major airlines trade group, the Air Transport Association.

"Airlines are still reviewing the requirements on the operational and privacy details," Wills said."

The 72 airlines should band together and defy the TSA by telling it to go pound sand with respect for its demand of passenger details.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff
The 72 airlines should band together and defy the TSA by telling it to go pound sand with respect for its demand of passenger details.
What will most likely is that airlines will comply with TSA in fear of being denied the right to fly to the US, and simply pay the EU fines, adding that price to the ticket post Secure Flight. They will comply with the order of the party that present the greatest threat to them. Besides, if everyone is fined the same way, global ticket price will rise, allowing airlines to squeeze an increase of their fare without the travellers noticing too much. All in all a great opportunity for the airlines.

Last edited by Richelieu; Nov 22, 04 at 9:01 am
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Old Nov 22, 04, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by Richelieu
What will most likely is that airlines will comply with TSA in fear of being denied the right to fly to the US, and simply pay the EU fines, adding that price to the ticket post Secure Flight. They will comply with the order of the party that present the greatest threat to them. Besides, if everyone is fined the same way, global ticket price will rise, allowing airlines to squeeze an increase of their fare without the travellers noticing too much.
You're probably correct.

It's a shame that airlines effectively collude on pricing but won't collude on telling to government to get bent on inSecurity.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 12:07 pm
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The problem with collusion is that, in reality, only a handful of US carriers are truly exposed to the EU fines...that is, the airlines that set foot on EU territory. AA, CO, DL, NW, UA, US, basically. The EU is going to have a hell of a time obtaining jurisdiction over YX if it shares the data of an EU citizen flying MKE-MCI. So, there's really no benefit for AS, B6, FL, WN, or any of the other commuters/discounters/non-EU flying airlines to worry about the EU issue. Meanwhile, I bet the big 6 could quietly ferret out PNRs with EU passport information and/or tickets purchased in GBP or EUR denominations. Would TSA ever know the difference? My guess is no.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by mizzou65201
The problem with collusion is that, in reality, only a handful of US carriers are truly exposed to the EU fines...that is, the airlines that set foot on EU territory. AA, CO, DL, NW, UA, US, basically. The EU is going to have a hell of a time obtaining jurisdiction over YX if it shares the data of an EU citizen flying MKE-MCI.
That's right but I fail to see a problem. Privacy laws aim at preventing entities to use personal data in a way not intended by the individual who gave them. Surrendering data obtained in the EU whithout the customer consent would be unlawful. If someone is buying a plane ticket in a country that doesn't respect privacy as much, it's his task to contractually protect his data from being reused and distributed (since the law doesn't protect him automatically).

Data collection forms in Europe are often assorted with warning regarded possible data transfer to the US, and it's mandatory for travel agent selling tickets to the US to warn about privacy risks. EU citizen who bought tickets to an US company at least knew the risk and could have improved their security by buying the ticket under EU jurisdiction (on an internet website, it's quite easy to buy a DL (for example) ticket under EU jurisdiction from the US).

So, there's really no benefit for AS, B6, FL, WN, or any of the other commuters/discounters/non-EU flying airlines to worry about the EU issue. Meanwhile, I bet the big 6 could quietly ferret out PNRs with EU passport information and/or tickets purchased in GBP or EUR denominations. Would TSA ever know the difference? My guess is no.
I suppose it wouldn't please the TSA, and that wouldn't prevent future problems when secure flight is put in action and not simply tested.
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