Saturday, February 14, 2004

CAPPS II - We're Watching You

This document is the government's final version of the CAPPS II system. This is the behind-the-scenes airline passenger screening.

When you get your airline ticket, you are required to tell the airline your full name, home address, home telephone number, and date of birth.

The airline couples that information with "some information" about your itinerary and passes it along to the Transportation Security Administration, part of the Department of Transportation.

The TSA will pass the passenger information onto "commercial data providers" (credit bureaus) for purposes of authentication.

Based upon the quality of the authentication and other added information from government databases, a passenger will be classified as green, yellow, or red. Greens get on the plane; yellows may have further investigation prior to departure; reds may not only be denied entry to the plane, but may be detained.

Everyone has to give something of their own privacy for the security of society. But the concept of CAPPS II is at once a necessary evil and a troubling indication of things to come.

A lot of privacy concerns were raised with the feds since the previously proposed system to the one linked above. Think of it all as the ability of the government to intrude for a good reason today, but to continue intruding for no reason tomorrow.

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