Saturday, January 17, 2004

Class Action

It looks to me that some greedy lawyers should get a suit together:

Northwest Airlines provided information on millions of passengers for a secret U.S. government air security project soon after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, raising fresh concerns among some privacy advocates about the airlines' use of confidential consumer data.

The nation's fourth-largest carrier publicly asserted in September that it "did not provide that type of information to anyone." But Northwest acknowledged Friday it had already turned over three months of reservation data to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center by that point.

Northwest is the second carrier to have been identified as secretly passing travelers' records to the government. The airline industry has publicly said it would not cooperate in development of a new government computer passenger screening program because of concerns the project would infringe on customer privacy. But the participation of two airlines in separate programs underscores the industry's clandestine role in government security initiatives.

Whether or not it was within their legal rights to disclose the information, it seems that a public denial qualifies as fraud.