A GAO report lists how the Customs and Border Patrol under the Department of Homeland Security is breaking privacy laws.
"CBP's current disclosures do not fully inform the public about all of its systems for prescreening aviation passenger information, nor do they explain how CBP combines data in the prescreening process, as required by law," the report says. "As a result, passengers are not assured that their privacy is protected during the international prescreening process."
This is an issue with other governments, for international travel. Granted, the tried and true fearmongering reason the CBP does not inform the public on their data uses comes under the very broad heading of preventing terrorism. However, this is not a panacea for European countries.
But the GAO says Customs has failed to fully describe its methods to the public. The lack of disclosure has become an issue as U.S. and European officials renegotiate an agreement, due to expire in July, to share air passenger data. European officials are concerned that the data they already share are not adequately protected by the U.S. government.
So, what other data is being collected, besides name, address, credit card, travel itinerary, and why is it being stored for 40 years? I mean, 40 years seems to be a little excessive.
But, there is another side to the privacy issue -- that is the data being safe. Numerous government laptops have been stolen or lost over the past few years, containing personal information. obviously, there are no guarantees that the personal data of millions of people will be safe.
Then we have the false accusations of being a terrorist, even of our own citizens.
I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but under the Bush regime, it really is quite hard. It really seems to be that we have moved into an Oceania state of government.