I am a frequent traveler, and therefore I encounter the Transportation Safety Administration on a far more regular basis than I'd care to. I also frequent a number of frequent-traveler-related message boards, which is where I encountered this gem about TSA's Secure Flight Program. The following portion really caught my eye:
The second phase of Secure Flight begins August 15, 2009 when passengers will be required to enter their date of birth and gender when booking airline flights.
I'm sorry, but WHAT? I am going to be required to enter, along with my credit card number, my date of birth and gender? The only thing missing for complete identity theft is the SSN (but maybe I shouldn't say that, lest the TSA get the brilliant idea to require SSN for travel in their heads). Clearly, someone at the TSA is either really, really trying to prove that their job is necessary or they want to make it that much easier for identity thieves to steal travelers' information.
I'm sure some people will think this is necessary for "security". The TSA says they're doing this so they can better match travelers against the no-fly list. My opinion? If the people on the no-fly list are so dangerous, why not arrest them? If they can't be arrested for any crime, why are they on the no-fly list? What, exactly, makes these people so dangerous that they are not allowed to travel on an airplane, but are allowed to freely roam anywhere in the U.S. by any other means?
This, combined with the increasing use of whole-body imaging to perform a virtual strip-search at airports (take a look at the second image in the article), makes me just not want to travel anymore. But instead, I will write to my congresspeople and fight for the right to travel with my dignity and identity intact.