Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

British Airways Plans To Google Passengers

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the only-miscreants-and-terrorists-would-object dept.

Privacy 177

itwbennett writes "British Airways wants to be the airline where everybody knows your name. The idea behind the 'Know Me' program is that by using Google Images to ID passengers, they'll be able to recreate the 'feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant,' Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA told the London Evening Standard. But the more privacy minded among us know that the airline could end up seeing a lot more than your face."

cancel ×

177 comments

What if your name doesn't come up? (5, Interesting)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 2 years ago | (#40574863)

Or what if it's the wrong person with your name? I know my name doesn't show up for me at all (I'm not registered by my real name on social networks etc.).

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40574995)

Exactly. My name is about as common as 'John Smith' here in the U.S.; there is a major Hollywood composer that's done the soundtracks of hundreds of films over the last 30 or so years, professional athletes, a country music star, and an actor sharing my name, and that's just off the top of my head. If you were to Google me I'd bet you'd have to go 30 pages deep to find a link that is even possibly connected to me in any way, shape or form.

Hell, just within my home state there are dozens of results for my name, nationwide, there's probably thousands of people with the same first and last name as me. Unless you have a very unique name, I don't see how this is going to be effective at all...

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (4, Funny)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#40575133)

Come right on up, Mr. John Williams.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40575253)

Actually no, but that's funny because I was thinking that someone might guess that name, based on what I said, as I was writing it.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575455)

Let me have a try Mr. Hans Zimmer.

James Howard?

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575265)

Exactly. My name is about as common as 'John Smith' here in the U.S.; ... a country music star,

Angry Deuce would make for a perfect country star name :)

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (1)

DerUberTroll (2676259) | about 2 years ago | (#40575329)

What if my alias on all social networks is Bin Laden?

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575361)

Then you're a dead man.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (4, Interesting)

Kazymyr (190114) | about 2 years ago | (#40575021)

The only things that show up when you google my real name are a few usenet posts that I made in one of the Linux kernel groups circa 1999. That ought to keep some airline people wondering.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (5, Interesting)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#40575355)

Ditto. I do sometimes worry whether this will be an issue one day. At some point, will being unable to datamine you, be like not having a credit record; where, even though you're not a bad risk, they still won't/can't deal with you.

Having a company (an airline, hotel, etc) refuse you a booking, being denied a job, or even having legal problems [**], not because you've done anything wrong, but just because their screening procedures are so tied up with datamining social networking, that they literally can't process anyone who maintains separate online/offline identities. (And as there's fewer and fewer people who will fall into this category, they have no motivation to fix it, and frankly find "people like you" suspicious anyway.)

[** Not only are police using social networking sites to research suspects; but I wonder if separate online/offline identies are already considered "aliases"?]

Not always a bad thing (5, Funny)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 years ago | (#40575061)

Or what if it's the wrong person with your name?

That's not always a bad thing - may be I'll get some free upgrades out of it! ;-)

Re:Not always a bad thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575079)

Mr Bond, you always like to travel in style ...

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40575085)

They're not doing this for everyone, they're doing it for people flying first class who might expect to be recognised. They don't want a flight attendant who sees Balmer having laptop problems to attempt to be friendly saying 'mine always crashes too', or similar. That sort of thing can easily lose an airline a lot of money, which is why they already try to brief cabin crew on any VIPs.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40575269)

They don't want a flight attendant who sees Balmer having laptop problems to attempt to be friendly saying 'mine always crashes too', or similar.

It's OK, the seats are bolted down quite firmly.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (2, Interesting)

sir-gold (949031) | about 2 years ago | (#40575599)

So in order to keep Steve Balmer happy, they will hide the truth from him.

And people wonder why Balmer is running MS into the ground. Maybe it's because everyone is tiptoeing around him, making sure his rose-colored glasses never come off

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (1)

Valtor (34080) | about 2 years ago | (#40575123)

Then I'm happy that my name is not too common...

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575171)

I fly BA at least twice a month. Their googling of my name plus the town of my address will return

An Actor
Four Footballers (soccer to you heathens)
A Cricketer
An author
A golfer
An Estate Agent

But not me.
Which one will they address me as the next time I fly.
They probably know a lot about me anyway as I'm a BA Avios Gold Card holder.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575207)

My name is so unique, that I will probably be able to file a discrimination suit.

Re:What if your name doesn't come up? (-1, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40575219)

My real name is fairly uncommon and I use it on social networking sites, because I'm not a tinfoil-hat-wearing secrecy wonk. Despite this, the only images of me that come up for my name are my github and facebook "avatar".

Even searching for my nick that I use everywhere and have done since the early 90s, I only show up twice on the first page of results - one of those being the aforementioned avatar, and one taken years ago at a barbecue. My cat has better google juice than me.

Use Digfer.com (1)

popo (107611) | about 2 years ago | (#40575401)

If you're trying to figure out just how far down in search you are, http://digfer.com/ [digfer.com] is a good utility to "dig" through all those people that are... well, more important than you.

if you were privacy minded... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574867)

"But the more privacy minded among us know that the airline could end up seeing a lot more than your face."

Well, if you actually WAS privacy minded, not even your face would turn up in a google search.

Re:if you were privacy minded... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575167)

Well, if you actually WERE privacy minded, not even your face would turn up in a Google search.

FTFY.

Re:if you were privacy minded... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575523)

Did you consider that OP might be black, you insensitive clod?

Reliability (5, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40574873)

Of course we all have unique names and faces and Google images contains only correctly tagged photos so this won't cause any confusion at all.

Re:Reliability (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#40574935)

This was my thought as welll, when I did a google image search for my name it came up with several hundred results, 2 of which were me, neither of which were nice clear head shots useable to identify me. So regardless of the other implications, I'm not even sure how effective this could possibly be.

Re:Reliability (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40575471)

I got my Facebook photo, a random pic of my dad, and a proboscis monkey as the top 3 hits. Then a map of the US, followed by a run of women. Kudos for Google getting the only online pic of me, but I'm kinda worried about a monkey being #3, lol.

Re:Reliability (4, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40575637)

I got my Facebook photo, a random pic of my dad, and a proboscis monkey as the top 3 hits. Then a map of the US, followed by a run of women. Kudos for Google getting the only online pic of me, but I'm kinda worried about a monkey being #3, lol.

But were those women all women you dated? (Or all women that your dad or the proboscis monkey dated?)

Re:Reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574965)

Exactly, as recently as five years ago if I googled my name the first two pages of hits were me. The reason was that I have quite a few published scientific papers and have always been active on forums etc. Now when google my name the first page of hits are a rugby player of recent fame then a photographer. Even the name DAQMAN that I have used for years on a blog is no longer unique so that there is some australian guy who has it on several blogs and other people have it on Facebook and Twitter.

No, this is generally a bad idea British Airways.

Re:Reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575029)

Oooh, a sarcasm detector. How very useful!

Re:Reliability (1)

mounthood (993037) | about 2 years ago | (#40575505)

Of course we all have unique names and faces and Google images contains only correctly tagged photos so this won't cause any confusion at all.

I thought Google was running an identity service?

(Sorry to spoil the joke by beating a dead horse, but this deserves it.)
http://gigaom.com/2011/08/29/its-official-google-wants-to-own-your-online-identity/ [gigaom.com]

He (Eric) replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.

If you think about it, the Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person as opposed to a dog, or a fake person, or a spammer or what have you So if we knew that it was a real person, then we could sort of hold them accountable, we could check them, we could give them things, we could you know bill them, you know we could have credit cards and so forth.

Re:Reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575695)

But if they give Google your home address and credit card number, I'm sure they can refine the search using their ad targeting databases.

Anonymous Coward says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574875)

if we wanted to go to Cheers we would have gone to Cheers rather than our local.

Re:Anonymous Coward says (1)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#40575019)

if we wanted to go to Cheers we would have gone to Cheers rather than our local.

Except that there is no Cheers. It's a made up bar, a fictionalized version of the Bull & Finch pub in downtown Boston.

Re:Anonymous Coward says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575243)

Shit - and there I was thinking "Cheers" was a documentary. Captain Obvious to the rescue!

Re:Anonymous Coward says (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40575259)

It was probably made in response to the TV series but there is (or was) such a bar - I've been there.

Re:Anonymous Coward says (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40575481)

I heard it closed (the real one); anyone know? Neat place, wife & I stopped by on our honeymoon in Boston.

Didn't telemarketer's already try this type... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574881)

of thing and people found it freaking creepy. Frankly other then my business with a company I don't want them collecting information to give random strangers to "greet" me as if they know me. It's stalking if people do it and it should be the same for corporations.

Fake personal touch != personal touch (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574883)

If I'm recognised in a favourite restaurant it's because we know each other well enough for that. If a stewardess I've never met before "recognises" me I know it's fake. The feeling I will probably get is of someone playing manipulative games with me.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (5, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40575007)

One would think BA would have learnt from Starbucks' [bbc.co.uk] mistake. Scratch that, British Airways should already be fully aware of the British people's contempt for such phoney chumminess. By and large, we just want to be given our coffee or shown to our seat and then left in peace.

I'm sure the flight attendants are nice people, but they're not my friends and they ought not to act like they are. They should act like professionals instead.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#40575347)

Scratch that, British Airways should already be fully aware of the British people's contempt for such phoney chumminess.

Understandable. If I'd ever had a strange guy with an Irish accent come up to me in a crowd and whisper in my ear, "We know where you live, boyo," I'd be tad skittish too.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 years ago | (#40575527)

Interesting that Starbucks thing. Whenever I go to one of those places where you place your order at the counter, sit down, then 10 minutes later someone calls you (places like Fuddruckers etc), they never, ever get my name right. I have to listen to some bastardized pronounciation of it, even though my name isn't obscure and there's even a very famous songwriter who uses the same name.

It gets so annoying I seriosly consider using a pseudonym instead.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40575015)

I'd also freak out if an unknown stewardess to me calls me by my name... I'm that person who can be paranoid sometimes.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575161)

My wife would definitely freak out if a stewardess calls me by name! I would expect the flight to be canceled owing to blood on the carpet!

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40575225)

My wife would definitely freak out if a stewardess calls me by name! I would expect the flight to be canceled owing to blood on the carpet!

Ooh, taking rug burn to a new level in a threesome!
Well done, that man.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#40575099)

It is the same fake personal touch some callcenters insist of using my name 27 times in a 30 second conversation.

If I compare that with how many times people say my name when they know me and are talking to me, it is incredible that they still think it is something personal.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40575317)

It is the same fake personal touch some callcenters insist of using my name 27 times in a 30 second conversation.

No problem for me. I'm blessed with a name that English speakers in general and Indian English speakers in particular are unable to pronounce, having both an uvular trill (think Edith Piaf "regrette rien"), a vowel that has disappeared from English, and ending on a vowel instead of a diphthong -- all in two syllables and five letters.

Non-Scots English speakers better call me by my middle name, and if they even attempt my first name, it's going to be so wrong that it's unrecognisable.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40575103)

I agree for "regular" people, but it sounds like they're targeting this at first-class passengers who might expect to be recognized, and may even have their egos bruised if they aren't. So BA is going to pull up a bunch of photos for the flight attendants peruse, in order to ensure that they don't accidentally fail to recognize a CEO or pop star or whoever.

It's still fake, but seems like a kind of faking that might work. Especially with people who want to believe it's real, that they're so famous that of course the flight attendants recognized them.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575425)

In first class, flight attendants already memorize the passenger list and address you by name once you find your seat. Additionally, I've flown a particular route enough times that some of the attendants and I recognize each other.

Given the above, I'm not sure why it's necessary to Google me. They already know my name, and anything beyond that seems stalker-ish.

Personal touch comes from the TSA (2)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 2 years ago | (#40575337)

I don't fly much, but I went for the first time through something called a mm-wave scanner (is that an x-ray or something else)?

A TSA chick stood to block my way and told me, "Sir, there was something suspicious on the scan, we are going to have to pat you down."

You have to know, ahem, that in middle age, a lot of us havet the Frank Costanza physique from that Seinfeld "bro" episode. A TSA dude with blue gloves felt my left moob through my clothes and then touched up the middle of my left thigh.

I was going to ask, "Did you find a lump, officer, something where I need to go to the doctor?" I mean if they are doing radiological and physical exams on people, isn't there an ethical responsibility to disclose this? But I just stood there like I was being inducted into the Army and shut-TF-up because I wanted to get on my flight.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575485)

BOFH goes to vacation.

- Welcome aboard mr. Foobar!
- Oh, you know my name?
- Yes sir!
- I don't seem to recall yours...
- I'm Sally!
- And your telephone number?
- I'm afraid I can't tell you that.
- That's quite unfair don't you think?

From now on BOFH maintains a passive-aggressive stance throughout the flight. Gets anal probed at the check point on arrival but that's not gonna be reported in his blog.

Re:Fake personal touch != personal touch (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40575499)

I would also feel creeped out. I'm instantly wondering what else they know and if they are talking about me in their private area. Yeah, I'm a touch paranoid.

I don't want this. (4, Insightful)

Dark$ide (732508) | about 2 years ago | (#40574885)

I want British Airways to fly me from LHR to wherever in the shortest time at the lowest cost. I don't want them to LIKE me on Facebook as part of the process of doing that.

If they need a nice little pocket sized document with my photo, my date of birth and a unique reference number they can use the nice booklet that cost me £90 from HM Passport Agency.

Re:I don't want this. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40575557)

You're not a B-level movie celebrity who's ego is wider than a first class seat. You know, the kind that shows up on the news for having been tossed off a plane for being an abuse, inebriated asshole.

I think they're doing it so they can keep tabs on these bozos. If they get too rowdy, a few milligrams of haloperidol [wikipedia.org] will get them to sit down and enjoy the flight - staring straight ahead and drooling the entire way. A definite improvement on their usual behavior.

First class (5, Informative)

Paul Townend (185536) | about 2 years ago | (#40574889)

From the article, it says at the bottom: ""The Google Images search app helps our customer service team to recognise high profile travellers such as captains of industry who would be using our First class facilities enabling us to give a more personalised service."

I think this is almost certainly something they're aiming at first class passengers only (probably as they approach the lounges at airports). I doubt they care that much about everyone in cattle class...

Re:First class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574957)

"The Google Images search app helps our customer service team to recognise high profile travellers such as captains of industry who would be using our First class facilities enabling us to give a more personalised service."

Now how many of us are gonna start uploading photoshopped piccies of our boss/CEO/whatever in compromising situations next time a purchase request is denied?

Re:First class (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#40575045)

The Google Images search app helps our customer service team to recognise high profile travellers such as captains of industry who would be using our First class facilities enabling us to give a more personalised service.

"Sorry Mr. Gates! We didn't recognize you without the pie in your face [google.com] !"
Consider the service an upgrade! From first class to zero class!

Re:First class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575147)

Bill Gates has said in interviews that he chose to fly coach until the late 90s (business class on international flights). Of course, he probably got upgraded more often than I do ....

Re:First class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575203)

Mod parent up. Usual slashdot outrage bait. Would be surprised if most airlines don't do something like this already - for the cost of the ticket, they should certainly be making the effort.

Disclaimer: I work in the hospitality industry, where making rich people feel important makes a big difference to the bottom line. We don't ignore them because "oh noes the privacies!!". We like staying in business.

Re:First class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575271)

They already greet you by name in first class using a seat assignment list. A little off putting the first time until you realize what's going on.

1980 called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574891)

And asked if this would be an extra cost

Oh, great (5, Funny)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 2 years ago | (#40574893)

to recreate the 'feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant'

So, now the airline is going to spit in my food too?

Re:Oh, great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575509)

> So, now the airline is going to spit in my food too?

Yep. As usual.

Sometimes you want to go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574895)

Where everybody knows your name, Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Hussein..

Good luck with that (4, Funny)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 2 years ago | (#40574909)

If I google myself, I find either a very large black NFL player, or an Airforce general. YAY, instant upgrade.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40575529)

At least you know they won't mess with you!

Scanner Data Calls for Integration (4, Funny)

foobsr (693224) | about 2 years ago | (#40574911)

the airline could end up seeing a lot more than your face

Sounds like they also want to integrate the results from full body scanners.

CC.

Re:Scanner Data Calls for Integration (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40575083)

But then maybe they can say "oh, it look like you've lost weight" :-D

"Fakyness" = bad customer service (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574943)

It kinda creeps me out when clerks act all "chummy".

Re:"Fakyness" = bad customer service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575041)

Customers also do that. I have to wear a nametag at my job, and for whatever reason some customers will just start using my name as much as they can (tends to happen when they're trying to woo me into doing something they know they can't). I'm not the only one there who hates that.

"Head of Customer Analysis" *shiver* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574945)

That's just creepy.

Which Feeling of Recognition? (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40574953)

they'll be able to recreate the 'feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant,'

I think they're a little more likely to create the feeling of recognition that you get when the creepy, slightly desperate receptionist asks about your dog by name, despite the fact that you haven't told anyone at the office that you have a dog.

Re:Which Feeling of Recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575303)

they'll be able to recreate the 'feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant,'

I think they're a little more likely to create the feeling of recognition that you get when the creepy, slightly desperate receptionist asks about your dog by name, despite the fact that you haven't told anyone at the office that you have a dog.

You wouldn't have that problem if your dog didn't have a credit card.

Creepiness is not the feeling resturants go for (4, Interesting)

whois (27479) | about 2 years ago | (#40574989)

There are several ways to do this that don't involve invading your privacy any more than they already have by making you present papers to fly. They already have all the information you could want in their database about your trips with them. Attaching a photo to it does nothing more than give someone a feeling of unease the moment you've pulled off this sham.

I dislike it when the coffee shop employees use my name without having been introduced because it's unexpected. The first thing that goes through your head is how did this person know my name, then you work backwards and figure it out. "Oh, they read it off my credit card." The uneasiness goes away but the feeling that something wasn't quite right with your experience is still there. Now try it in a situation where you can't figure it out because there’s a third party involved?

Situation: Man you've never seen before approaches you in an airport and says "Mr. Smith?" What is your immediate reaction?

First you're trying to figure out where you've met the person before, then you're trying to figure out if something is wrong or if they're a thief or confidence man playing you because obviously they've overheard your name from somewhere? You're never able to make the connection that they've "recognized" you because they haven't. They weren't even introduced by a mutual acquaintance like the front desk clerk because in a giant airport it would be impossible to believe that the front desk clerk described you well enough to be tracked down.

You will always be left with a feeling that shenanigans have happened and it won't make you happy. Unless you're an extremely trusting grandmotherly type person who finds the novelty to be so interesting you forget your suspicions; If you are in that particular demographic then the novelty of hearing your name called over the intercom so you can come to the desk and be updated would be just as effective as the above.

Finally, I'm in a position of choice in what has become an increasingly hostile market due to security theater. Every chance I get I will choose the airline that isn't creepy internet stalking me.

Re:Creepiness is not the feeling resturants go for (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40575213)

Situation: Man you've never seen before approaches you in an airport and says "Mr. Smith?" What is your immediate reaction?

If my name isn't Smith: "Sorry, no" or ignoring the person.
Unless she's truly babelicious: "For you, I'll be Smith, Jones or any name you want."

If my name is Smith, the reply would be: "Who's asking?"

Common courtesy is to always introduce yourself first. On the phone too, by the way. Someone who calls and asks for someone by name without giving theirs will (and should) get "who's calling" or simply be hung up on. Neither is the callee being rude - it's the caller being rude.

Re:Creepiness is not the feeling resturants go for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575403)

Situation: Man you've never seen before approaches you in an airport and says "Mr. Smith?" What is your immediate reaction?

If my name isn't Smith: "Sorry, no" or ignoring the person.
Unless she's truly babelicious: "For you, I'll be Smith, Jones or any name you want."

Either there is an inconsistency here, or the airline company knows a great deal about you and your preferences.

Re:Creepiness is not the feeling resturants go for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575571)

Situation: Man you've never seen before approaches you in an airport and says "Mr. Smith?" What is your immediate reaction?

If my name isn't Smith: "Sorry, no" or ignoring the person.
Unless she's truly babelicious: "For you, I'll be Smith, Jones or any name you want."

Either there is an inconsistency here, or the airline company knows a great deal about you and your preferences.

Simplest explanation:
It's a trap!

Heathrow boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575031)

After my last passage through Heathrow Airport and the inefficiency, delay, needless scrutiny, and property invasion it entailed, I now boycott Heathrow. They can keep their little Orwellian Island.

Meanwhile, Heathrow is losing market share to competitors. Coincidence, or do others feel the same?

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575035)

Please! Why do people have a public facebook page? So everybody can see their data. This is nothing more than a reverse lookup on these data.

cb

Not a violation of privacy, but daft (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | about 2 years ago | (#40575053)

Googling someone does not violate their privacy. Publishing unauthorized information about someone does.

The whole thing is daft and bound to backfire. For instance; I share my name (which you can easily figure out from my username) with a purveyor of adult photography. I don't want airport staff casually inquiring how the porn business is going.

Re:Not a violation of privacy, but daft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575459)

If the airline company uses Google whenever I am there, Google will become aware that I'm there and will therefore be able to link this information with information about flights etc. This is equivalent with the airline company explicitly emailing Google every time I travel to tell them about my travel plans, which obviously (to me anyway) is a breach of privacy.

Also, since they don't know whether the passenger has published information or not, they will simply send everybody's name to Google and see what shows up. Therefore, even if you try to keep your online profile low, they will still spread information about you uneccessarily.

Yet another privacy-related reason not to travel to the Great Britain.

"Seeing a lot more than your face" (1)

qwerty shrdlu (799408) | about 2 years ago | (#40575059)

That's a risk they'll just have to take.

smarter and smarter (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40575081)

It seems my decision to not put my real name online anywhere ever and not join facebook keeps looking smarter and smarter. If I google my name, I get no actually relevant results.

Now if they ask for my online nicknames they'd be like "We see that you don't like microsoft, you're into tech support, and you hate the Phoenix Knights guild in DDO. Welcome aboard!"

be real or gtfo (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40575093)

I frequent a pawn shop because they have decent laptop, PC, and tech stuff prices and they work on commission so it's like Cheers when I walk in and the sales staff basically see who can get to me first cuz there's a likely $300-1000 purchase in their near future. Plus some of the reps there are sincerely pretty cool.

And then there's the fake ass waitress and hotel and other staff that are trained to be friendly but it's blatently obvious that it's a very thinly veiled attempt to hide the fact that they don't give a crap.

All this will actually result in is people asking "oh, did we to school together?" and them having to explain they merely digitally stalked you.

Re:be real or gtfo (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40575567)

All this will actually result in is people asking "oh, did we to school together?" and them having to explain they merely digitally stalked you.

You're a fish? How do you type?

Re:be real or gtfo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575707)

All this will actually result in is people asking "oh, did we to school together?" and them having to explain they merely digitally stalked you.

You're a fish? How do you type?

While riding a bicycle of course.

illogical that they wish to use google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575111)

Passport photos already let them play this game and would be a FAR more reliable base for what they propose the program is meant to accomplish.. I suspect that the "googling" aspect is more about A) marketing by sneaking into your life and trying to "google" in the sense that they mine your personal info to sell you things in a targeted fashion.. B) has something to do with security or other reasons...

That said its also entirely possible that they promoted some youngsters who are hell bent on using what they know rather than the best tool for the job..

I am all for the idea that its a personal choice where you set your social boundries.. some people are outgoing and wish to be on first name basis with the world.. others find it distasteful and would prefer to be addressed as sir/mam or mr/ms/mrs until THEY choose to go into first name mode..

For those that are supposedly in the "best customer tier" (frequent fliers with loyalty cards that are meant to express that) I can see that BA would want to somehow make a random employee have an easier time giving that customer extra attention... IE you fly BA 2037 from MCO to england biweekly and know all the regulars.. BA wants that same familiarity to extend when you are on a flight from LAX to Hong Kong, or Sydney.. or at least give their counter and in flight employees the tool to do so..

But I think that having club cards pose for photos would serve the job much more elegantly.. and even a system of snapping a quick shot at the ticket counter and sending that on to the flight crew would be a far more useful for both the flight crew AND security (odd passport photo may be hideously out of date, photo taken at most an hour or 3 before the plane is boarded .. way more likely to be accurate...

Airport shocker (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40575121)

"OK, Mr Goatse, if you could just step over here".

Passengers Plan to Google BA Pilots (1)

erdos-bacon sandwich (2676113) | about 2 years ago | (#40575127)

Hey Stewardess, another vodka-tonic to send up to the captain!

brings tears to my eyes (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#40575137)

This sounds like something from the onion [theonion.com]

Try Googling My Own Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575143)

I'm all over The Series of Tubes as I published my first site in 1994, and was on Usenet and mailing lists long before that.

out of 27,300,000 total hits we have at Number Ten and so stil on the first page:

Startup Weekend entrepreneurial event on alert after man threatens explosions, guns [oregonlive.com]
by Molly Young [oregonlive.com] , The Oregonian

More than 150 people at the Startup Weekend entrepreneurial event at Portland State University are on what event organizers described as a "lockdown" after a man who was asked to leave this morning later made threats of violence.

Six police officers were at the PSU Business Accelerator building on 2828 S.W. Corbett Ave. this afternoon.

After the man, Michael David Crawford, was removed this morning, he apparently threatened violence, explosions and guns, co-organizer Jeff Martens told participants at an afternoon meeting announcing the "lockdown." The threats were made on a Twitter account using the hashtag of the event, though the tweets appear to have been deleted.

Participants are allowed to enter and leave through one entrance, and Portland police said the event was not on an official lockdown.

Is British Airways going to treat me like family after they read that?

Here's What Really Happened [softwareproblem.net] .

The reason I haven't sued the Startup Weekend corporation, The Oregonian and, because they deleted exculpatory evidence from their site, Twitter for defamation is not because I don't want to or because I don't think I'd win metric boatloads of damages, but because I've been busy fixing up my websites. They were, at least for a whiile, a multitude of sins.

What I was really referring to on Twitter when I reported that I knew a straightforward way that I myself, from the comfort of my own home, could "make a large industrial facility detonate like a Bunker Buster Bomb" is lucidly explained in Jonathan Swift Sticks it to the Man [softwareproblem.net] .

ProTip: Obama and whoever the Prime Minister of Israel fucked up royally when they authorized StuxNet. Just you wait until the Iranians download their free eval copy of the Trihedral Engineering [trihedral.com] VTS - Visual Tag System - Human Machine Interface / Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition industrial control system software.

HMI / SCADA just about has to be the single most human-life critical software known to man. Wouldn't you think they'd Read The FIne Manual [kuro5hin.org] before - at the time I was hired - writing a half million lines of what Trihedral founder Glenn Wadden, a brilliant industrial engineer but an incompetent coder, described as a million line program that's only half complete?

Michael David Crawford [dulcineatech.com] , who looks forward to lighting smuggled Cuban cigars with burning hundred dollar bills.

Re:Try Googling My Own Name (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 2 years ago | (#40575319)

I thought Startup Weekend was an interesting exercise in pitching and ad-hoc collaboration, but I agree, anyone who takes a serious project to it is just in for a world of hurt.

That said, none of the ideas at the SW I attended had any hope of becoming the 'next big thing', so I don't think anyone had their ideas stolen.

As for what happened to you, the people who run these things are 'entrepreneurs' not 'coders' and as such, I'm not sure you can really be surprised by their reaction. These folks are outgoing, pleasant people who see everything in very simple terms -- IE not slashdotters. ;)

It was hard to think of a non-serious project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575549)

I have lots of serious projects. The last thing I'm going to do is allow a bunch of strangers to Tweet it, blog about it on Facebook, or post a YouTube of me pitching The Next Great American Killer App.

What I actually decided to do was to offer my expertise to ALL the teams. For example I'm quite good at debugging and tuning the performance of iOS Apps now. The Portland Startup Weekend was mostly a bunch of naive young kids who had never published commercial software in their entire lives, let alone shipped in the App Store. While many of them had good product concepts, I was dead certain none of them would succeed without my help.

What totally pissed off the Startup Weekend staff was that I did not want to collaborate with any one particular team. Instead I wanted to offer advice to every team that needed advice. I planned to teach them all how to code bug-free iOS Apps.

For that, the Startup Weekend staff totally surrounded me, then started shouting at the tops of their lungs while I begged them desperately to leave me in peace.

Hilarity Ensued.

Skip the weather, go for gold (1)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | about 2 years ago | (#40575145)

While it's not a terrible idea and I don't particularly mind it, considering how I share a lot of personal information on those same networks... If they are clever they might even find a common topic of interest and skip the whole bit about the weather at 20,000 feet. Why even ask me when all you really want to know is how I feel about Dostoyevsky's narrative style, or about whitespace while coding? That's all I really care about when I talk to people.

Wyndham did this to me to sell a timeshare (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#40575165)

A buddy of mine invited me and another friend to come stay at a Wyndham resort in WI for a ski weekend a few years ago. We stayed at a resort with multiple restaurants and shops on site.

Very long and creepy story short, in an attempt to sell more points to my friend (who was on his parent's million+ account) they Googled for us and knew everything about me including my preferences for music, good food, etc and tried to use that as leverage.

Outcomes:

1. It was uncomfortable because they only had a cursory knowledge of what I liked and they weren't really applying it well enough.

2. It was fucking SUPER creepy that they knew anything at all about me. Honestly, it was unnerving.

3. I don't want strangers treating me like I am eating at my favorite restaurant where I know the owner. You know why? Because they forgot the steps involved to get to that point--the one where you get to know someone from more than a cursory glance at Google.

--

Do not fucking do this. Thanks.

Re:Wyndham did this to me to sell a timeshare (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575507)

So you published information that was meant to be read by your friends and family, which somehow ended up in the hands of someone other than expected, and you were surprised?

Never... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575235)

I have never, ever used my real name on the web.

It's not about economy class... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 years ago | (#40575299)

This has nothing to do with knowing that Mrs. Edith Hedgehog in 36J is from Bristol and likes knitting and everything about knowing that Sir Roger Carr in 2A is the chairman of Centrica. It's all about knowing the first class passengers, not the riff-raff in steerage.

where are they going to use this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575335)

Are they going to use this in the airplane where they already have the name and seat number of every person in the plane?

Or in the VIP lounge that you show an id card with your name on it to get into?

They could just put RFID tags in the ID cards and be done with it.

Privacy Minded? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#40575411)

If you were privacy minded, you wouldn't stuff on the WWW which could be googled which don't want people to know.

Making airlines more invasive is so comforting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575633)

You would hope they had someone on staff to tell them how bad of an idea this way. Maybe if they got rid of the liquid ban and pornoscanners... maybe..

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...