DAVID FIELD / WASHINGTON DC
A US plan to implement a computer-based passenger screening system faces increased scrutiny after an accidental leak of passengers' personal data. This has prompted Congressional moves to delay the CAPPS II (computer assisted passenger pre-screening system II) programme.
CAPPS II uses commercial databases to select passengers for extra pre-boarding security screening, theoretically speeding handling for "low-risk" fliers. The accidental posting of private data supplied by JetBlue came when the airline supplied about 5 million passenger records to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) contractor Alabama-based Torch Consulting. Torch later matched the names with personal information, including social security numbers. Thousands of angry passengers complained to JetBlue, a civil liberties group complained to the Federal Trade Commission, and two passenger groups filed class-action suits against the airline. JetBlue withdrew its TSA co-operation, and other carriers have also baulked.
Source: Flight International