News.com is reporting the somewhat unsurprising news that a government program
we were assured was 'perfectly safe', has actually been proven to be a privacy nightmare. The 'Secure Flight' program matched air traveler information with commercial databases
in the interests of national security. The charter for the program specifically forbade the TSA from accessing this information; the organization got their hands on it anyway. The Department of Homeland Security has released a report, detailing these findings and analyzing the situation. The News.com piece makes it clear the report was released on Friday in an attempt to obscure it from public notice; it was only linked to from a DHS subsite, and has not shown up on the DHS or TSA main pages. From the article: "The report from the Homeland Security privacy office takes pains to say that the privacy compromises over Secure Flight were 'not intentional,' and includes a list of seven recommendations to avoid similar mishaps in the future. Those include explaining to the public exactly what's going on and creating a 'data flow map' to ensure information is handled in compliance with the 1974 Privacy Act. This isn't the first report to take issue with Secure Flight. Last year, auditors at the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the program violated the Privacy Act."