Refusenik Airlines

The airlines are refusing to share data with the federal government. In response, the TSA may issue a security directive to force the airlines to share this data.

Transportation Security Administration Chief Administrator James Loy said Friday if no airlines voluntarily provide data for a 180-day testing period of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) scheduled for later this year, he will issue a security directive mandating the airlines provide the information.

Delta Airlines had originally agreed to participate in the program but withdrew following a firestorm of criticism over passenger privacy violations. JetBlue Airways was sucked into the controversy earlier this month when it was revealed it had provided passenger data to a defense contractor.

Kudos to Delta for changing their minds, even bigger kudos to the airlines that never offered passenger data. I have a little problem with the whole TSA business, especially CAPPS II. The bureaucrats and politicians swore to uphold the Constitution of the U.S., and within it is a little bit of declaration of what the federal government is not allowed to do. In this case that would be Amendment IV:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The right thing for the airlines to do would be challenge the TSA on constitutional grounds. The TSA as a government agency has no right to our personal data. How can we be secure from the depredations of terrorists and other criminals when we are not secure from the depradations of bureaucrats and politicians?

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