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Northwest Gives Personal Data to NASA 440

Posted by michael
from the lie-in-the-sky dept.
Tree writes "Following four months on the heels of JetBlue's confession that they released passenger data to the Feds against their stated privacy guidelines, the Washington Post is reporting that Northwest has now admitted that they've done the same thing during a time period when they said they weren't. Nice. They were once my favorite airline."
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Northwest Gives Personal Data to NASA

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  • by TheAngryArmadillo (158896) * on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:31PM (#8014192)
    I was sure the submitter meant the NSA [nsa.gov] but looking at the story it really was NASA [nasa.gov].

    Are they going to be sharing this info with the Martian Immigration Service?
    • Re:Not NSA but NASA? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:44PM (#8014310) Homepage
      Indeed. I thought that MSN had simply mistakenly put NASA instead of NSA and the poster hadn't picked up on it too. The clincher however is the reference to "Ames Research Center" which is indeed a NASA facility. I guess they don't want Marvin the Martian visiting the US anytime soon...
      • Why would NASA need this data? Looking for volunteers to send to Mars or something?

        I could more easily believe a typo...
        • I could believe a typo too, but not numerous identical ones [google.co.uk].
        • From the article:

          NASA said it used the information to investigate whether "data mining" of the records could improve assessments of threats posed by passengers, according to the agency's written responses to questions. At the time the agency also was exploring other possible projects aimed at improving air security...

          Interesting how a seemingly unrelated government entity can become part of the story. Whether or not this experiment panned out, the decision to do this does show some creative thinking. Co
          • Re:Not NSA but NASA? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:47PM (#8014720)


            Interesting how a seemingly unrelated government entity can become part of the story.


            NASA shares its expertise in different ways. I worked with an engineer who normaly developed various tools for use in space (one of his favorite was an emergency device used in case an astronaut got seperated from the structure during EVA). He also worked on a university research project to help develop a continuous flow heart pump.
          • Re:Not NSA but NASA? (Score:5, Informative)

            by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @05:39PM (#8015457) Homepage Journal

            Interesting how a seemingly unrelated government entity can become part of the story.

            National Aeronautics and Space Administration

            NASA is, undoubtedly, most well known for its space initiatives. However, they have their fingers in everything from complicated probes on other planets to medicine here on earth. They help develop commercial technology that you use every day of your life and they do cutting edge research into any number of scientific fields that you may well not hear about for another decade or more, if ever.

            Frankly, NASA is probably second only to FEMA for underestimation of agency influence within the country. Those two agencies are either known only for very specific things, or never even thought about, but they have exceptionally broad, far-reaching powers and their fingers are in pretty much anything you can think of, even if you don't notice it.

        • by DrEldarion (114072) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:45PM (#8014700)
          They have special alien technology which allows them to be completely accurate in asessing passenger risk.
      • by cyclist1200 (513080) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @04:37PM (#8015051) Homepage
        I think they're trying to keep out illegal aliens...
    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:20PM (#8014546) Journal
      I was sure the submitter meant the NSA but looking at the story it really was NASA.

      Are they going to be sharing this info with the Martian Immigration Service?


      NASA is the National AERONAUTICS and Space Admin. The space program gets all the press. But they do a LOT of work on all aspects of commercial air flight.

      And while their work on cutting edge aircraft design (civilian, military, and research platforms) gets most of the press on their airflight side, they're involved in a lot of other stuff: Flight simulation, air traffic control, baggage searching devices...

      And, as you can now see, stealth people-tracking databases for the "war on terror".

      I'd suggest you contact your legislator if you object. But that might get me a heavy fine. (Follow this link [slashdot.org] {cloned from my current signature} to see what I'm talking about.)
    • Re:Not NSA but NASA? (Score:5, Informative)

      by phliar (87116) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @05:11PM (#8015275) Homepage
      NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Before space became cool, they used to be called NACA -- the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. (Only newbies pronounced it "nacka" -- cool people said N A C A. The name was changed in 1958.) Just about all aviation research for US WW2 airplanes came from NACA, for instance. NASA still has the responsibility for aviation research.

      One of the cool programs that NASA Ames (at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Silicon Valley) has is the Aviation Safety Reporting Program [nasa.gov] for crew. If there's a safety issue on any flight, crew members are encouraged to send in an ASRS report. If you screw up in some way and cause an unsafe condition, and file an ASRS report, you get immunity from any FAA enforcement action [nasa.gov] related to the incident. Anonymised versions of these incidents are available in the ASRS newsletter "Callback." This program has done many orders of magnitude more for safety than any TSA Code Yella (or whatever the hell it is today) ever did.

      Of course this present hysteria-driven incident is repugnant. There is no way to be utterly safe, and infringing on citizens' privacy for some dubious profiling benefit is complete crap. I don't see how it's even constitutional to require gummint-issued photo ID from passengers. In a free society one is not expected to have "papers" to move about in one's own country. It doesn't even increase security: any high-school kid will be able to tell you how to get a fake drivers' license.

  • by blackdefiance (142579) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:33PM (#8014210) Homepage
    Like my parents used to say... "It's not that we're so angry that you did [insert bad thing here], it's that you lied to us about it.
    • by xyxy (742859)
      I don't mean to excure them, but I do think it's worth wondering aloud whether they got some not-so-subtle hints that the didn't need to mention this to the public.
      • by giminy (94188)
        Reminds me of how this used to work when I was a child.

        "Yeah, sorry I lied, but [big] brother made me do it..."

        The article makes it sound like this was all completely voluntary though (ie the government simply asked for the information, no subpoenas and no PATRIOT act handwaving at how you can't mention that records were taken).

        While speculation at best, it might be good to look into whether or not these "hints" you suggest were dropped.
      • I don't mean to excure them, but I do think it's worth wondering aloud whether they got some not-so-subtle hints that the didn't need to mention this to the public.

        This is quite common, actually. Suppose you run an ISP, and the government is `interested' in one of your customer's web pages. They may subpoena you for information about this customer, and will probably also *prohibit* you from even telling the customer. Nothing subtle about it.

        If you do mention it, it means a fine or jail time for yo

    • So can we smack Northwest? Or lock them in their room all night without (economy class airliine) dinner?
    • by buelba (701300) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:07PM (#8014465)

      Depending on what happens to Northwest's stock price on Tuesday, this one may really hurt. Under the Securities Act of 1934 and rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder:

      It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails or of any facility of any national securities exchange,

      To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,
      To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
      To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person,
      in connection with the purchase or sale of any security.
      In practice, what this means is that if a company (whether or not through a director or officer) lies about something material to the stock price, people who buy during the period of market manipulation (essentially, from the date of the lie until the truth is revealed) can recover for their damages (generally but not always what they paid minus the "true value" of the stock when they bought it).

      Setting the "true value" of a stock on a given date, absent the market manipulation, is obviously an excursion into the hypothetical. One strong indicator, however, is how much the stock falls when the truth is revealed. So watch Northwest when the market opens and, if it falls a lot, expect to see securities lawsuits as well as privacy lawsuits.

      • In practice, what this means is that if a company (whether or not through a director or officer) lies about something material to the stock price, people who buy during the period of market manipulation (essentially, from the date of the lie until the truth is revealed) can recover for their damages (generally but not always what they paid minus the "true value" of the stock when they bought it).

        In practice, what this means is people who buy during the period of market manipulation can be part of a class

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:33PM (#8014213)
    We're sending you to Mars because of your ties to terrorist groups. Nothing personal, you understand, right?
  • by lisany (700361) <slashdot@thedoRA ... minus herbivore> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:34PM (#8014218)

    We do not live in a police state. The Government trusts us. Donald Rumsfeld is infallable. All hail Bush.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I guess this is what they had to do to get that extra funding.
    • I believe you meant Ashcroft. Rumsfeld (though I'm sure he has many faults) really could not be construed as creating a police state in the US. That would be the Attorney General.

      Then again, if you live in Iraq, then I guess Rumsfeld would apply.
  • by barenaked (711701) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:34PM (#8014226)
    So what will you when every toll road you travel on by car passes your travel details automatically to law enforcement based on your license plate? Or when one day every intersection has a camera collecting this kind of information? Or when there's a camera doing face recognition on every street corner, evaluating whether you are a terrorist or not? Will you just stay at home all day? I think a more proactive stance is needed here. Getting the general public to understand the privacy implications of these systems so they stop voting for people that put them in place is probably a lot more effective.
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:42PM (#8014293)
      "Getting the general public to understand the privacy implications of these systems so they stop voting for people that put them in place is probably a lot more effective."

      But over 50% of the population have _already_ figured out that there's no difference between voting for the control-freak Democrat candidate or the control-freak Republican candidate, and don't vote for either.
      • And the pity is that the small-c conservatives get shouted down in the Republican party. The whole goal of that branch of conservativsm is to take away the power of government. The 'silent majority' you speak of would have their voice in said 'movement' although sadly once a 'cut back government' type gets elected, he seems to always find new things he wants government to do.
      • by iabervon (1971)
        Perhaps they ought to vote for a non-control-freak Democrat in the primary. If they did, they'd have a good candidate in the election, and this candidate would win by a landslide.
      • Re: on the vote (Score:4, Interesting)

        by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @04:47PM (#8015114) Journal
        Well, yes, and quite a few of us have also learned that it runs much deeper than just a simple decision made by the current president.

        There's a REAL good chance that no matter who becomes president, this sort of thing will continue. The leaders of govt. organizations (you know, the typical 3 letter bureaus like the FBI, CIA, IRS, NSA, ATF) want more tools at their disposal to do their jobs -- "privacy" be dammed.

        The president simply can't wave his hand or sign a piece of paper and make all of this go away. All of those groups serve useful purposes and nobody's likely to just abolish them completely while in their term of office.

        While it IS true that the lines are quite blurred between "Democrat" and "Republican" nowdays - it's simple-minded thinking to blame these "big brother" issues squarely on the president, no matter what their supposed allegiance is politically. You've got all those senators and congressmen getting paid off/bribed to vote one way or the other, and legislation being written with sneaky, unrelated legal changes constantly trying to be snuck through. You've got huge power struggles between governmental agencies, and lots of "behind the scenes" bargaining for the "lesser of two evils" that the general public never sees when we ask "Why the h*ll did the president just sign THAT into law??"

        All we can really do is speak out loudly and often when we see these injustices happen - so they can't just start running everything right past us.
    • by bennomatic (691188) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:28PM (#8014593) Homepage
      Unfortunately, the general public has a mentality that these sort of tools are only used against criminals. "If you don't do anything wrong," they say, "you have nothing to fear from these things."

      It's long been understood by leaders from the smallest tribes to the most bloodthirsty dictatorships that these sorts of means of control can be put in place by demonizing a small enough sector of society that a majority is willing to go along with the program.

    • by ChazeFroy (51595)
      Northwest customer service: 701-420-6282
      Web feedback form: http://www.nwa.com/cgi-bin/gen_misc.pl [nwa.com]
  • Northworst? (Score:3, Informative)

    by PiranhaEx (742431) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:35PM (#8014227) Homepage
    They were your favorite airline? You obviously don't live in Detroit. Here, we call them Northworst, and it really doesn't surprise me. This is after they've used taxpayer money to build an addition to our airport that they're now calling the "Northwest World Gateway," totally ignoring its actual name.
    • I think airlines would be wise to avoid the word "west" in their names as the same thing happened to America Worst (West). Avoid them at all cost, man they suck.
      • thats going to happen to any name.

        When trying to figure out a name for my child, I tried to find one that nobody could make fun of. not possible, so I went with a familt name, Richard Smallberries.
    • Re:Northworst? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ari_j (90255) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:57PM (#8014388)
      At least you have options. I lived in North Dakota for 21 years, and Northworst essentially has a monopoly there. I had to drive 2 hours to get on a damn DC-9 to Minneapolis (another of NWA's hubs, along with Detroit and Memphis) and take a transfer from there. While in college, I was prone to drive the 4 1/2 hours to Minneapolis and fly Frontier or Sun Country from there.

      That said, I flew a Northworst/KLM combination flight to Athens and back. KLM is no comparison to Northworst - wonderful service; attractive, friendly stewardesses; better seats; and more. If you have to spend 2 hours on Northworst to get 10 hours on KLM, do it.

      But for domestic flights that go over or near Denver en route, I now prefer Frontier. Especially with their revamped fleet of Airbuses. I recently flew with them on a plane that had only been in service for 2 weeks since it was brand new, replete with DirecTV in every seat-back. (I didn't pay the $5 because I had a book, but I watched the moving map a lot.) A little more expensive than other 'budget' airlines, but worth it in terms of service and comfort.
    • Re:Northworst? (Score:2, Informative)

      by CracktownHts (655507)
      You obviously don't live in Detroit. Here, we call them Northworst, and it really doesn't surprise me.

      The correct name is "Edward H. McNamara/Northwest WorldGateway, and Northwest airlines picked up a good part of the tab. It's only fair that they get to stick their name on it too. Were you so attached to the dump that was the old Wayne County Airport? Most travellers weren't, I can assure you (I used to work at NWA, in the good old days before World War II I/II started).

      At any rate, it's rather disap

    • I've never had much trouble with Northwest in the Minneapolis area, no worse than any of the other major carriers (Continental, Delta, American). What does irritate me is how codesharing and alliances has left many cities with far fewer flight choices. Many areas once served by both Continental and Northwest are now served only by one of the two. Cities that once had multiple 737-sized flights by American and TWA are now stuck with a couple 757-sized American flights following that buyout. And what's up wit
  • by Genghis9 (575560) * on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:35PM (#8014231)
    Somewhat akin to that project at MIT (Government Information Awareness [mit.edu]) detailing public figures, there should be one for public companies noting when, where, what.

    Then it should be easy to boycott and avoid them.

  • by xankar (710025) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:36PM (#8014242) Journal
    If Jetblue jumped off a bridge, would you?
  • NASA... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arimus (198136)
    This surely begs the question if NASA have as much trouble with their mainstream programs for space missions how the heck can someone expect them to reliably mine data for terrorists... I think this is probably another of Bush's slip ups - he meant to say NSA when he dictated the request but ended up saying NASA instead :)
  • Not a good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calmdude (605711) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:37PM (#8014253)
    With airlines not doing so well these days, I don't think it's a very good idea for them to piss their customers off...

    Of course, even if they lose 30% of their customers, the government will subsidize them for that 30%. Ahh...the wonders of...capitalism?
  • Story History (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    from an aticle on the same topic at nytimes.com:

    "We do not provide that type of information to anyone," Kurt Ebenhoch, a spokesman for Northwest, told The New York Times in a story published on Sept. 23.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:38PM (#8014258)
    To those who make jokes about "Martian Immigration" and the like, remember that it's the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The agency has a large role in promoting aviation safety.

    On a separate point, remember that an airline that is pressed by the Government to violate its passengers' privacy is likely in an impossible position: "turn over your passenger records, or we have the security people strip-search all your passengers at the gate and we start safety inspections on every one of your planes 5 minutes before departure. You'll never have a customer again."

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:38PM (#8014261)
    They were once my favorite airline.

    With all the paranoid hoops the feds make travelers jump through to board an aircraft, I must admit my favorite airline is Amtrack these days, for shorter journeys.
  • by stefanlasiewski (63134) * <slashdot@@@stefanco...com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:38PM (#8014262) Homepage Journal
    I'd bet that nearly all of the of the major Airlines have done this. Northwest and JetBlue just happened to get caught...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Northwest Airlines provided information on millions of passengers for a secret U.S. government air-security project soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, raising more concerns among some privacy advocates about the airlines' use of confidential customer data.

    advertisement
    The nation's fourth-largest airline asserted in September that it "did not provide that type of information to anyone." But Northwest acknowledged Friday that by that time, it had already turned over three months of reservation
  • by tuxette (731067) * <tuxette @ g m a i l.com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:41PM (#8014283) Homepage Journal
    Privacy policies in the US aren't worth the bandwidth they waste. And they will continue to be worthless unless they're backed by strong national (not just state) privacy legislation similar to the Norwegian Personal Data Act [datatilsynet.no] or the EU Personal Data Directive [dataprivacy.ie].

    That way, people don't have to be worried about "loopholes" in privacy policies such as the one indicated in a NYT article [nytimes.com] on the same subject:

    The company said in a statement: "Our privacy policy commits Northwest not to sell passenger information to third parties for marketing purposes. This situation was entirely different, as we were providing the data to a government agency to conduct specific scientific research related to aviation security and we were confident that the privacy of passenger information would be maintained."

    According to for example Norwegian law, this transfer would be unlawful unless the data subjects consented to the transfer.

    • In the EU we have learned that when the USA throws it weight around our EU laws count for very little.

      The laws that were meant to protect the data of EU citizens has been ignored when it came to demands from the USA that personal data of EU air travellers be passed to the USA without the previous safeguards.

      The Register [theregister.co.uk] has more details on how weak the EUs stand has been.


    • I have a very simple rule for people concerned about privacy (and I am): PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS. Sacrifice a little comfort and convenience for once, in order to uphold a principle that you claim is important to you (I do).
    • Privacy policies in the US aren't worth the bandwidth they waste. And they will continue to be worthless unless they're backed by strong national (not just state) privacy legislation similar to the Norwegian Personal Data Act or the EU Personal Data Directive.

      Interesting comment, but its very unlikely to be implemented on a wide scale in America. The use of Privacy policies and playing off of the customer's good faith, trust or lack of having read the policy is common between government and corporations a
  • by Quixote (154172) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:46PM (#8014320) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    .... news media quoted Northwest officials responding to the JetBlue incident. "We do not provide that type of information to anyone," Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch was quoted as saying in the New York Times on Sept. 23.

    An article in the following day's St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press said: "Northwest Airlines will not share customer information, as JetBlue Airways has, Northwest chief executive Richard Anderson said Tuesday in brief remarks after addressing the St. Paul Rotary."

    Somebody should ask Dick Anderson, what exactly did he mean by his statement? If that is not a bald-faced lie, then I don't know what is.

    I hope the shareholders hold this guy accountable.

    As the former owner of a Nortwest Frequent Flyer card (which I just cut up on reading this story), I'd just like to say "sayonara!" to Northwest. It was not the sharing of the data that was bad; it was lying about it and the "cross my heart, swear to God we don't do that" that pissed me off.

    I can understand the need for exploring new security options. How hard would it have been to anonymize the data? Just run it through a one-way hash function, and you can provide the data without invading anyone's privacy.

    This ineptitude and lying really irritates me.

  • by sulli (195030) *
    just know how to spy.
  • by wike (742888) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:51PM (#8014358) Homepage
    I had a flight last week on Delta (not my favorite airline either) but when I showed up to the airport and had problems with Delta's (we don't want to talk to you so we make you deal with a machine) self-check in kiosk I found out that I was actually flying on Northwest. Huh? Apparantly even though I booked Delta, they codeshare with Northwest. I wonder if my passenger information is now in Northwest's database.
    • Northwest, Continental, Delta, and KLM codeshare their flights. In fact, the four are very tightly knit... most area once served by both Northwest and Continental are now just served by one of the two, especially after the 1998 "kind of a merger".

      At any rate, you need to carefully read the segment data when you book your flights online... this includes the plane type, operator ("Delta Flight 555 Operated by Northwest Flight 333"), and other little tidbits.

      In my personal experience, I rank Delta and Northw
  • by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:52PM (#8014361) Journal

    Really, the FBI can come over and arrest me, the NSA can deploy a task force in the North Sea standing by to obliberate most of Northern-Europe and the CIA can drug my beer but not the NASA! Dear Eris, they might decide to drop that Saturn V on my house, do you have any idea how much that blasted things weighs?

  • by Flakbait (742565) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @02:53PM (#8014365) Homepage Journal
    NASA's got this one covered. I must say, their plan is totally brilliant [scrappleface.com]

    (disclaimer: satire)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was wondering why the US Air lady asked me if I thought the moon landings had been faked when I checked in. I hope I answered correctly.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It was MLB. Now they know my squalor index.
  • Pure, and simple lying.

    • An article in the following day's St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press said: "Northwest Airlines will not share customer information, as JetBlue Airways has, [slashdot.org] Northwest chief executive Richard Anderson said Tuesday in brief remarks after addressing the St. Paul Rotary."
    • Northwest officials responding to the JetBlue incident. "We do not provide that type of information to anyone," Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch was quoted as saying in the New York Times on Sept. 23.

    They lied.

    Their sorry excuse ?

    "Northwest Airlines had a duty and an obligation to cooperate with the federal government for national security reasons," the airline said.

    It sounds just like what Adobe was saying when they got busted for the Currency Detection Algorithms [slashdot.org] that they had added as (semi) spyware. And then of course we find out that many other Graphics Programs Vendors had done the same ...

    Their sorry excuse ?

    Adobe had a duty and an obligation to cooperate with the federal government for national security reasons.

    Really makes you wonder how many of these Corporations are already in-bed-with-the-feds ...

    Is it already 1985 ?



  • I have to admit - that right after 9/11, if NASA asked for a passenger list - I'd would have probably given it to them as fast as possible.

    The trouble comes, though, is when a passanger asked me: "Did you share my data with anybody?"

    I *would* have told them "Yeah... NASA got a copy. Got a problem with that?"

    Airplanse travel over provate and public property - there should be no expecation of pricacy. When a 747 flies over my house - I expect the governemnt to protect me by making sure that some fundeleme
    • So if a plane flies over your house you should be given the credit-card info of the passengers inside?

      Great, maybe I can set up a hut in the flight path at JFK. Woo hoo, who needs to work!
    • The problem is they lied about it. And I would ask you to recosnider just giving away personal information because of national security. Will this really improve your security?

      Maybe it is just my tinfoil hat, but I see a slippery slope with government taking away more and more freedom, while collecting more and more information on its citizens. Is that reason for alarm?

  • by mellonhead (137423) <slashdotNO@SPAMswbell.net> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:08PM (#8014476) Homepage Journal
    ...be sure to wake up prior to initial approach:

    http://www.sptimes.com/2004/01/17/Tampabay/Snippy_ flight_attenda.shtml [sptimes.com]
  • Offtopic, but I'm amazed that it was ever anyone's "favourite airline". KLM and Northwest have codeshare flights from India to Amsterdam/the US, and it's common consensus that KLM is one of the best and NW is one of the worst. Most people I know who need to travel on KLM/NW check carefully first who's operating that flight, and if it's NW, choose some other airline or some other date.

    Though to be fair, all US airlines suck compared to their European or Asian counterparts. I've travelled on several.

  • by lwagner (230491) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:22PM (#8014559)
    "To the Moon, al-Hassan! To the Moon!"
  • > They were once my favorite airline

    Let me guess, you don't live near Detroit nor the Twin Cities.

    • They were once my favorite airline

      Let me guess, you don't live near Detroit nor the Twin Cities.


      Welcome to US airlines. They all suck. If you live in the Dallas/FtWorth area you curse American and hope that Continental is better. If you live in the Houston area, you curse Continental and hope that American is better... wash, rinse, repeat...
  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <.teamhasnoi. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @03:34PM (#8014635) Homepage Journal
    and I live in Minnesota, I had done quite a bit of reading on this. Apart from Northwest justifying it by saying, "We don't sell information to marketers - but this wasn't for marketing..", I find the most asnine thing to be NASA wanting to 'give the information back'.

    Now, this info is on 5 CDs. How can *anyone* believe that it stayed on those CDs, and din't make the rounds from FBI to NSA to CIA to DHS to whatever other 3 letter acroymn that is supposed to 'protect us'?

    That information is everywhere you don't want it to be - and you won't know what they're doing with it until it bites you in the ass.

    I guarantee that this will be abused - everything else has, why would this be anything different.

    I wonder if good ol' boy George would be allowed to fly if the CAPPS2 system had access to his military AWOL status, his DUI, his credit scores, and his drug abuse.

    Oh, wait. Invasive and ineffective programs like these are only for the 'commoners'.

  • This won't work (Score:2, Informative)

    by dickiedoodles (728410)
    Surely in order for this to work NASA would have to know who on the list was a terrorist and who wasn't. It's like giving somebody a list of people's age and weight (and no other information) and asking them to figure out a system for knowing if they voted republican or not, it's just impossible to do without knowing voting trends for those weights and ages.

    The only way I could see this being used is to look at who gets drunk and causes problems on flights (I assume that airlines keep information on this
  • by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @04:05PM (#8014852) Journal
    Yet one more reason I will never fly on their airline. Those "Body Nazis" were the first to ban smoking on international flights. That's when they lost me as a customer, permanently.

  • by yellowjacket03 (470997) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @04:55PM (#8015170)
    What did you like best about flying Northwest? The chronic tardiness or the spate of drunken pilots flying to an incorrect airport?
  • Canadian Laws (Score:5, Informative)

    by iantri (687643) <iantri@NoSPaM.gmx.net> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @04:57PM (#8015183) Homepage
    We just got a new law up here that makes it a legal requirement for businesses to notify you of EXACTLY what they are doing with your data, and forbid them from doing anything else without your permission.

    It sounds like such a law could be useful for you Americans right now..

  • What's new? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:55PM (#8016320) Homepage
    While this is offensive in many ways, anyone who thinks their private data are safe from Big Brother needs to stop flying, taking the bus, driving, and go into their basement and lock the doors.

Byte your tongue.

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