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CDC Wants to Track Travelers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-heard-it-from-a-little-bird dept.

Privacy 299

gearspring writes "According to Government Health IT the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants your email address, your mobile phone number, names of your traveling companions, your name, your address, and your emergency contacts name, address, and phone number. This information would be gathered by airlines, travel agents, and online reservation systems for all travelers. Their goal is to protect us in the event of a pandemic. The SARS crisis showed them the difficulty of notifying people that they may have been exposed to a disease. It is a noble goal, but couldn't they do this anonymously?"

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Big Brother meets CDC (-1, Redundant)

Martix (722774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144938)

Great way to keep tabs on were and were you go but making it like were doing it for you own good ect.....

Re:Big Brother meets CDC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14144952)

Could that be any less grammatical? :-)

Huh? (5, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144946)

It is a noble goal, but couldn't they do this anonymously?

Anonymously? What, will they use a war-dialer to randomly notify people that someone somewhere was likely exposed to a new strain of bird flu? Maybe a really big phone tree?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144965)

Exactly. Here in Europe, if you come to a big city you often automatically get an SMS on your mobile phone with info about the sights, where to find a hotel, and how to listen to your voicemail. So they know you're there, and they have your phone number. TGhis can aslo be used to warn you for scary deseases you might have been exposed to, even after you left the city/country, because they have your phone number and the data you were in the danger zone.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144995)

A) How is that anonymous? They have your phone number, after all. Presumably, the federal government has the resources to tie that to your name in the event of an emergency, right?

B) That's great for Europe and the rest of the world, but the next influenza pandemic doesn't seem likely to originate in Vienna or Nice. Does Ho Chi Minh city have such a system in place? Something makes me doubt it.

Re:Huh? (1)

segment (695309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145023)

But what does Ho Chi Minh city have to do with this alerting system. Anyhow, good idea, bad idea. There are always points, counterpoints. Before someone trolls along about privacy rights bear in mind CALEA, DCS1000, ECHELON, CAPPS, and TIA [eff.org] . Nothing will really stop them from doing what they want to do, and quite frankly I think I would see pandemonium in the street before I would hear my cellphone ringing.

This message is from the center for disease control. We are now watching you leave 1 Main Street and are walking into a Bird Flu contaminated area. Please stand by while we do nothing more than warn you and run your everyday minutes with a false positive warning based on terrorist threats

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145055)

But what does Ho Chi Minh city have to do with this alerting system.

I suspect that the idea is to be able to find people who have been in contaminated areas after the fact, so that they can be monitored and quarantined if necessary. I doubt the idea is to preemptively notify people before they travel to high risk areas - rather, it's to find people who just left Phnom Penh to return to the States, now that people in Phnom Penh (or wherever) are suddenly dropping like flies.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145319)

Before someone trolls along about privacy rights bear in mind CALEA, DCS1000, ECHELON, CAPPS, and TIA. Nothing will really stop them from doing what they want to do

Well, if they already have the information, they don't need this latest measure then, do they? So if they do have the information, I'd have to oppose gathering it twice.

And if they don't, then there's still something for opposing the encroachment of the Surveillance State.

Re:Huh? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145034)

A) How is that anonymous? They have your phone number, after all. Presumably, the federal government has the resources to tie that to your name in the event of an emergency, right?

I think in the event of a pandemic the gouvernment has other priorities than tying your name to your phone number.

B) That's great for Europe and the rest of the world, but the next influenza pandemic doesn't seem likely to originate in Vienna or Nice. Does Ho Chi Minh city have such a system in place? Something makes me doubt it.

Every mayor city has a mobile phone system, and implementing the 'send an SMS to every newcomer' system should be trivial.

Re:Huh? (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145063)

I think in the event of a pandemic the gouvernment has other priorities than tying your name to your phone number.

Nah, the point is io insure that if you're in an area that's suddenly become hot, you don't hop on a plane and bring it home without them knowing about it. See my reply to the other poster above.

Every mayor city has a mobile phone system, and implementing the 'send an SMS to every newcomer' system should be trivial.

See above. As I said, the point is not so that you know about the risk, the point is so that they know who's been exposed, in order to keep those people from knowingly or unknowingly spreading the epidemic back home.

Re:Huh? (1)

Flamsmark (876165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145115)

Every mayor city has a mobile phone system, and implementing the 'send an SMS to every newcomer' system should be trivial. unfortunately, that particular system is illegal in the uk, and possibly the rest of europe. the provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations [our anti-spam laws] prevent any non-private entity from opening electronic communications with someone who has not explicitely reqiested it. [link] [oft.gov.uk]

Re:Huh? (1)

poohneat (934308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145108)

i like how you are oblivious to the simplicity of the request. All the submitter wants is that in the obvious compromise of your privacy... ahh... let it be

land of free aint wat it used to be

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145176)

i like how you are oblivious to the simplicity of the request.

LOL. I'm all ears, then. You wake up tomorrow to find that there's a major outbreak of a new strain of bird flu in some Asian city. This strain is now transmissible from person to person and it's airborne. How do you find Americans who were in that city three days ago, but aren't there any more? How do you prevent each potential Typhoid Mary from walking around your town and coughing on everyone she meets?

land of free aint wat it used to be

My guess is that whatever you're imagining, it never really was in the first place.

...while the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.

- Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963)

Thats not the problem (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145235)

The problem is the flu being carried to America by the birds. What makes you think bird flu will spread when everyone knows about it? SARs never got here.

Unfortunately.... (5, Interesting)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145195)

Mr. Bush has already made his intentions clear .

He has publicly stated if a pandemic strikes there will be martial law, and
the national guard, state police, local police, and "other" authorities will
block "all" travel .

My quetion to this is , who is gonna stop the birds from flying around ???

Want to take that to a WHOLE new level ???

http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8788 [scienceblog.com]

Remember the civet cat and Sars ???? Oh my, guess what .

This virus is changing, and it is not done changing .

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8372 [newscientist.com]

If this thing becomes transmitible to the common house cat, killing and eating birds in
every city that has alley cats . We got ourselves a recipe for a bad situation .

Another point of this strain that is being missed is the mortality rate so far .

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?ne wsid=5596 [medicalnewstoday.com]

If this thing kicks off at anywhere near this supposed 75%, it will be worse than the plague .

Some current numbers put it under 50% and lets hope it becomes less deadly as it mutates .

Keep in mind the 1918 pandemic was 2 - 5%, and not with modern medicine .

This has the potential for a major catastrophe .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu [wikipedia.org]

20 - 50 million world wide died in a time before widespread food shipment and travel .

A pandemic has reoccured with regularity every few decades, but this is shaping up to be
the deadliest in modern times if the mortality rates are anywhere near what they are now .

I hope all countries around the world take this VERY seriously .

Ex-MislTech

Re:Unfortunately.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145261)

Hey, didn't you just release a new movie [go.com] ?

Re:Huh? (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145200)

"This is the Centre For Disease Control. Our information lists you as having potentially been exposed to a highly dangerous pathogen. Before we can release this information to you and your doctor regarding treatment of this often fatal condition, we'll need to verify your personal information. Please send your credit card number to the following link."

They shouldn't be asking for email addresses; rather, they should be helping to make it clear that no essential communications will ever occur via email.

Re:Huh? (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145214)

Well, yeah. If I had to guess, the email thing is probably a last-resort kind of deal. Who knows, though? ;)

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145331)

WTF!!!

I don't think that the CDC REALLY wants that kind of overhead.. this is a ruse, it must be. CDC hates administrating data, let alone useless data..

People are not the only, nor the main disease vector, if they want to convince me they are sincere than make me giggle and track pigeons.

Rights online? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14144948)

Would someone please explain what the hell this has to do with my rights online, or for that matter my rights at all? Slashdot has become a conspiracy freak hangout.

Anonymous Notification? (4, Funny)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144954)

It is a noble goal, but couldn't they do this anonymously?

It just begs the question, doesn't it?

Re:Anonymous Notification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14144983)

No, it really doesn't.

Re:Anonymous Notification? (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145013)

Absolutely. Not. No begging.

Re:Anonymous Notification? (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145032)

If the grandparent is suggesting that an unproven assumption is that saving the human race is a noble goal (it just might not be worth saving) then it would be begging the question.

I agree with you though, the grandparent poster probably just doesn't know what begging the question actually is. I think he's confusing it with *suggesting* a question.

Re:Anonymous Notification? (1)

NightLamp (556303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145270)

It just begs the question, doesn't it?

Yeah it does.
I recently rented a car and was asked for my cell phone number, seemed perfectly reasonable, like if I needed roadside assistance.

What if the rental company, or any company, had an infrastructure to deal with government requests for information in a timely fashion - an "emergency access protocol", and what if it was stupid easy to access and audit the "emergency access protocol" usage records, well - after a while - and multiplying by the number of places where I have given out my cell number excluding friends and family...
Lets just say that if there were an emergency, or really just anything, I feel like it is a given that the government, suddenly, could have a really good idea of where I am or would likely be.

I kinda don't mind, as long as they remember to call me when the frog-rains begin.

Re:Anonymous Notification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145278)

Oops! You used the phrase "begs the question" in an improper manner! "begging the question" (Latin petitio principii) is a form of logical fallacy in which an argument is assumed to be true without evidence other than the argument itself. It does not mean "to raise the question". http://begsthequestion.info/ [begsthequestion.info]

Anonymously? How? (3, Insightful)

Bargearse (68504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144967)

The submitter asks "couldn't they do this anonymously?"

Err.. probably not. Even if you only gave them a phone number, or an e-mail address, you wouldn't be anonymous any more. And if you didn't give them any personally identifying information, how would they be able to contact you?

Besides, I think I'd want to know that I'd possibly contracted some deadly disease, rather than remain anonymous :)

Re:Anonymously? How? (2, Funny)

dogwelder99 (896835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145059)

Battling a pandemic disease such as avian flu requires the ability to quickly track sick people and anyone they have contacted.

OK so far...

In response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have proposed new federal regulations to electronically track more than 600 million U.S. airline passengers a year traveling on more than 7 million flights through 67 hub airports.

Ummm... anyone care to do the geometric expansion on this one? CDC is gonna need one hell of a call center. Perhaps India could handle it. (Not a company in India. INDIA.)

Re:Anonymously? How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145231)

If there is a global pandemic of biblical proportions such that they would need to call all these people and let them know they have ebola, I think the size of the call center required is probably not the top thing on the CDC's priority list.

Re:Anonymously? How? (2, Insightful)

raoul666 (870362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145305)

So set up a free webmail account, they're not hard to get. Use something that won't identify you. You get to be anonymous, and still be contacted in case of an emergency. My email shows up in this comment, but it doesn't identify me. Sure, if someone big and powerful enough wanted to, they could try to find out from google which IP accesses the account. They might even get it. But I'm not that paranoid, and if I was, I'd only check it (and post on /.) using Tor or at a public terminal, or both.

Anonymity is possible, just inconvienient.

And I too would like to know if I had a deadly disese. And if it was something like SARS or birdflu, I probably wouldn't care who else knew. But what if it was HIV? Wouldn't you want that kept with some degree of secrecy?

read the article! (4, Informative)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144976)

It is not the CDC that "wants" your address, they want the airline to keep that information on file so that they can get it if they need it:
The regulations will require airlines to collect and maintain in an electronic database the following passenger information:

Almost all airlines keep that information already in some form (for marketing, frequent flyer programs, etc.), they just may be too disorganized to be able to respond to CDC requests. This would require them to be able to do that. I don't see a problem with that. This kind of mandate would even be compatible with a strict data retention and privacy standard that requires deletion of all customer data after, say, a couple of weeks.

Re:read the article! (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145091)

Did you read the article?

It states that (a) the amount of information the CDC wants airlines to keep exceeds what they currently track and (b) that the data would be retained for 1 year.

Re:read the article! (2, Informative)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145119)

You are missing the point, which is that the airline, not the CDC, is keeping the information. So, the story is misleading: the CDC does NOT want to track you.

And we don't have to guess whether this "exceeds" what airlines already keep because the information they want is right in the article. I don't know about you, but my airline has all that information on file already, plus dietary preferences and a lot of other information.

As for the time limit, there is no time limit at all right now anyway. I'm just saying that you can have a CDC-like requirement with a strict time limit if you wanted to.

Re:read the article! (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145266)

Actually, did you read the article? From the article [bold-italics mine]:
The new regulations, which are available on the CDC's Web site and will be posted for a 60-day comment period in the Federal Register starting Nov. 30, would require airlines, travel agents and global reservations systems to collect personal information that exceeds the quantity of information currently collected by the Transportation Security Administration or the Homeland Security Department.

If you look at what the CDC is asking the airlines to track, any airline I've traveled on has MOST of that information already... and expedia, or travelocity, or any other booking agency I've used could probably supply the rest (email address, phone number, etc.)

The amount of data they're asking the airlines to track is only more than what the TSA or Dept. of Homeland Security requires them to track... and just because it's above & beyond what the TSA & DHS require, that doesn't mean that it's not almost all tracked already by the airlines. This would simply require the airlines to standardize the data tracked into a format the CDC could work with in case of a public health crisis, such as SARS or a flu outbreak.

Re:read the article! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145153)

This kind of mandate would even be compatible with a strict data retention and privacy standard that requires deletion of all customer data after, say, a couple of weeks.

fair enough point, but in the case of a pandemic the outbreak (and subsequent contacting of "at risk" individuals) could take a month or more to show itself.

moreover, any reasonable appeal to deleting the data after say, 90 days, is likely to be met with the same "security concerns" about needing to keep the data indefinitely, as in forever. who are you going to appeal to?

people are going to march out the same "nothing to hide = nothing to fear" crap about this, but in the end it's just more of the same: an attempt to monitor and control people well beyond what the constitution intended, with the goal of power hidden by the mask of "safety".

i love my country, but i fear my government.

Re:read the article! (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145259)

people are going to march out the same "nothing to hide = nothing to fear" crap about this, but in the end it's just more of the same: an attempt to monitor and control people well beyond what the constitution intended, with the goal of power hidden by the mask of "safety".

I agree that it's very bad for data to be sent to the government for data mining purposes: it open the door to blackmail, false accusations, and other statistical accidents and abuses of power.

But my point is: that's not what's happening here. This regulation mandates minimum data retention standards for the airlines, something almost all of them likely already exceed. The government can't go on fishing expeditions with the data because they don't receive it unless there is an actual emergency.

fair enough point, but in the case of a pandemic the outbreak (and subsequent contacting of "at risk" individuals) could take a month or more to show itself.

If you wait a month for contact tracing in a flu pandemic, I think need not bother anymore. But, in any case, the point is that you can set data deletion requirements in addition to data retention requirements. There are few data deletion requirements in the US right now for this kind of data, but it might make sense to create some, and they are enforceable.

Homeless? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144977)

That's easy, I'm homeless and have no friends. Maybe I'm not, but how are they going to know?
No address, no contacts, no email, no phone. Are you going to deny someone travel because they can't afford these things? Or choose not to have them?

Re:Homeless? (1)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145074)

That's a very small percentage, still. And unless you're living like Ted Kaczinski (sp?), you'll be noticed.

How?

People start getting sick, and disease control specialists work to halt the spread. That means accounting for people - and while you may not have a name, the 7-11 cashier that you bought a pack of smokes from remembered you were homeless and had a cough. The next thing you know they've ID'd you from a camera at the 7-11, and a bit of asking in the homeless community usually will help out too After all, the homeless are even more sensitive about getting sick because of the dangers of exposure, etc.

Therefore, you are trackable. Today.

As for the issue of a right to travel, yes and no. While I'd like it to be a right, countries have the right to deny someone access if they wish. After all, you are a visitor. It's reasonable to expect that you shouldn't harm them. Not allowing them to reach you if you're carrying a deadly virus is reasonable.

Lastly, if you are homeless I doubt you are travelling to different countries. Perhaps in a cargo crate or over a fence, but I doubt you'll be booking in coach.

Re:Homeless? (5, Interesting)

Nato_Uno (34428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145118)

Yes, you can be denied travel for not having an address, etc. No address or contact info will almost certainly result in no government issued ID. No government issued ID, no travel.

For more details, see:
      http://cryptome.org/freetotravel.htm [cryptome.org]

Travel (1)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145175)

Technically they're not denying you travel, they're denying you access to most mass transit. No planes, only some trains, maybe boats(I have no idea). You're free to hoof it, or ride a bike or horse (can't drive a car, motorcycle, or truck, though). You can ride with somebody, hire a car service (maybe), and (someplaces) hitchhike.

Also, I've done some work with the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless and I believe they've gotten homeless people gov't ID before, though I don't think driver's licenses.

Re:Homeless? (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145123)

Yeah, maybe you live with a friend on Paper Street after your apartment blew up. And you have this sort of club that you two started.

Re:Homeless? (1)

Max_Wells_SH (863873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145137)

That's easy, I'm homeless and have no friends. Maybe I'm not, but how are they going to know? No address, no contacts, no email, no phone. Are you going to deny someone travel because they can't afford these things? Or choose not to have them?

Probably. The last time I booked a flight online with a credit card I voluntarily handed over quite a bit of the information the CDC would already like the airlines to keep on file (for a retention period of one year, according to TFA). So I'm not entirely sure what the problem is, vis-a-vis wanting to lie about one's personal information in this case but not the other. One day some hapless campaigner is going to ring one tinfoil hatters' doors and upon asking "How are you?" get a "I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT!" and a slam.

I kid. But seriously, while it's not impossible that this information could be abused, from what I've understood, it's about as likely as an actual pandemic in the first place. SARS fizzled out, and the avian flu also failed to fulfilled any predictions of doom. In fact, if there's going to be any threat of a pandemic, I'd put my money on the re-created Spanish flu virus that the CDC has, samples of which it is sending out to certain labs in the mail! [healthcentral.com]

Cash... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145208)

Can you even buy airline tickets with cash?

For the greater good (5, Funny)

Venik (915777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144979)

Back home in the good old days KGB used to collect this sort of information. Just in case you get sick and they need to give you a shot.

Re:For the greater good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145022)

in case you get sick of the government
give you a shot in the head

Re:For the greater good (1)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145149)

in case you get sick of the government
give you a shot in the head

Gee, thanks for the hand there captain obvious. I hadn't spotted that. /me rolls eyes.

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145336)

In Soviet Russia, KGB shoots YOU

anti-govt attitude (0, Redundant)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144980)

Why is everyone so worried about the government using their data? I would rather not catch a deadly disease and not have my town attacked by terrorists than keep anonymous. The government (usually) isn't evil, you know.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

Bladestorm (914734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145005)

"The government (usually) isn't evil, you know." Are you out of your mind, or just really ignorant?

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145121)

You've answered your own question by asking it.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

Bladestorm (914734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145207)

So you are ignorant. I thought so.

Re:anti-govt attitude (0, Troll)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145253)

No, you're ignorant.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145071)

If any one agency of the government has near instant access to this kind of information, the rest soon would. Any power that the government can abuse it will abuse. I would rather see every US city in flames than let the FBI/CIA/NSA have easy access to that kind of data.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145103)


"If any one agency of the government has near instant access to this kind of information, the rest soon would."

Are you kidding me?

If that was the case, there wouldn't have been a 9-11.

Re:anti-govt attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145324)

And I take it you've never heard of PNAC?

Re:anti-govt attitude (2, Insightful)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145107)

Why? I care about freedom of speech, but if I have to pick between freedom and safety I will usually pick safety.

Re:anti-govt attitude (4, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145132)

but if I have to pick between freedom and safety I will usually pick safety then you don't deserve either.

Re:anti-govt attitude (0, Troll)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145152)

And I thought the basis of the civil rights movement was that everyone was equal. If that means that I sacrifice some of my freedom for the safety of the general public, so be it.

Re:anti-govt attitude (2, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145198)

some of us don't want our freedoms sacrificed for your/our/everyone's safety. If people like you got your way there would be no interstate travel because "thats how them there sickness gets spread" and yes you might not die of dog/cat/media-scare flu, but odds are you weren't going to anyway.

Re:anti-govt attitude (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145284)

If that means that I sacrifice some of my freedom for the safety of the general public, so be it.

Then on that premise, I demand the government install cameras in everyones homes to stop drug abuse, to stop domestic violence, to stop bomb making, to stop religious cults, to stop all manner of evil deeds that are plotted and conducted in the privacy of peoples homes.

You see where that reasoning gets you? It's a huge slippery slope. You need to decide where to draw the line in the sand. I would recommend you get yourself a history book and start reading. What I know of history tells me that you draw the line in the sand as far away from your home and personal life as possible, or you'll end up with no home and personal life.

Freedom is dangerous. That's the way it is. Maybe you're happy with a big brother watching over you, but I don't want that.

And I thought the basis of the civil rights movement was that everyone was equal.

This is MY life. I don't owe you or anyone else anything. You don't pay my bills. You don't bear my burdens. You don't fight my demons. You don't share my triumphs.

Your "equal rights" do not extend to MY life. Equal rights mean that we are dealt with equally according to the law. It does not mean that you get an equal cut of my labor, or of my freedom. I don't want your freedom, why they hell do you want mine? I'll tell you this, you'll have a great chance of survival against an infectious disease, than against your fellow citizens rising up against you when you try to take away their rights.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

Flamsmark (876165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145182)

mod parent insightful. that's a brilliant catch: managing to find someone walking into that quote.

Bring out your dead... (1)

Chr0me (180627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145161)

I would rather see every US city in flames than let the FBI/CIA/NSA have easy access to that kind of data.


Not to support the information gathering, but I guess that would help stop the spread of disease.

Re:anti-govt attitude (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145084)

"Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses... Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents, and be happy."

Re:anti-govt attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145248)

The only thing you have to fear is Shock and Awe.

Cutting paper (3, Funny)

ian_mackereth (889101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144981)

and they need to collect it electronically because, when they used to print it out on a piece of paper, those slips were often confiscated at check-in because terrorists could threaten to give someone a really nasty paper cut with it...

CDC for aliens?? (1)

Guru Goo (875426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144982)

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this is the real story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14144984)

they want to know when i go to thailand to have sex with children.. but IT'S JUST SO TEMPTING!

Whaaa? (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14144991)

There goal is to protect us in the event of a pandemic.

Cool! And what about here goal?

Re:Whaaa? (1)

Snoe (114590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145293)

I read the headline as "CDC Wants to Trick Travelers" ... amounts to the same thing I guess

Can we use our 'free registration' identities? (1)

sinij (911942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145003)

>>your email address, your mobile phone number, names of your traveling companions, your name, your address, and your emergency contacts name, address, and phone number.

I'd fill that form with something along the lines billgates@microsoft.com, 202-456-1414, traveling with E. Presley and R. Nixon, My Name, 221B Baker Street, 911...

Information they are asking is outrageous, is there any way they can force you to submit it?

Re:Can we use our 'free registration' identities? (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145344)

They could scan your PDF417-encoded or RFID-embedded government ID, and refuse to board you if you don't let them.

Maybe not such a good idea (2, Insightful)

teaserX (252970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145010)

...It is a noble goal...

Yep it's a noble goal but it sounds to me like an avenue to control the masses the first time the wrong person get his hands on the "the easy button" this provides. Noble goal but not a noble result.

It may save lives but increase overall human misery. Power like that just *finds* its way into the wrong hands. --JT

Re:Maybe not such a good idea (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145186)

Power like that just *finds* its way into the wrong hands.

Not here in america! Here we willingly give it [cnn.com] to the wrong hands

Why this isn't bad... (2, Insightful)

meatflower (830472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145011)

Honestly, this seems like a pretty good idea...in theory. The problem is you are giving up some of your personal freedoms, to travel wherever the fuck you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want. They're not really stopping you from doing any of this (unless there is a disease wherever you want to go, which in that case you probably shouldn't go anyway), but now "they" know about it.

Could this list be used to track possible terrorist suspects? Yes and you can bet it will be.

But if you're not a terrorist (still don't know if they have a big readership on Slashdot) I don't really see the harm in telling the CDC where you're going so in case some flu pandemic breaks out where you just got back from they can notify you . Sacrificing a little personal freedom for increased safety of the whole is worth it to me in THIS SITUATION. There are other situations where I think the benefits do not outweigh the consequences, but with the increased possibility of a flu pandemic in the future this might just help quell the casualties.

Re:Why this isn't bad... (1)

meatflower (830472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145030)

Just an example for those who still aren't convinced.

Let's say there is a massive bird flu outbreak in Lima, Peru. If you're the CDC and you have this list, and assuming its set up in a good database application, you can simply search for those individuals who visited Lima and the surrounding area in the last 2 weeks or so. You get a list of 100 people, then contact them and arrange for them to go to hospitals to get checked out and make sure they're clean, thus preventing them from infecting the rest of the population or at least significantly reducing their impact.

Re:Why this isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145040)

I'm not convinced.

Re:Why this isn't bad... (4, Insightful)

teaserX (252970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145083)

/troll=on
...you know right where to tagert the tactical nukes,thus preventing them from infecting the rest of the population or at least significantly reducing their impact.

/troll=off

Seriously, you're right about how it *should* work,but pandemics are rare and it's only a matter of time before someone decides that all data that cost so much to collect is going to waste. Then there's the transitive rational that ruins the whole privacy aspect the CDC is tryin to maintain ie-> "terrorism is an infectious disease" or "the disease was spread *by* terrorists" and now the (insert TLA here) has access to that info immediately until the end of time.

Just wait till the collection agency gets a turn.

Re:Why this isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145114)

Yes, but once that data is collected other agencies will also want it (FBI, CIA, NSA etc.)

Re:Why this isn't bad... (2, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145043)

>>> But if you're not a terrorist ...

But if I'm not a terrorist/ communist/ homosexual/ deviant/ Muslim/ unemployed.... It always boggles my mind how easily people are willing to discard freedoms just because it doesn't affect them. I bet if they took away your 'freedom' to read slashdot you would be all at arms.

Re:Why this isn't bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145054)

let's exchange the word terrorist with criminal. Criminals don't have the freedom to commit crimes, they get punished, thusly, we have taken away their freedom to commit crimes with laws. Do you feel bad for them? Now tell me, do you feel bad for terrorists?

Obligatory Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145076)

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security" - Ben Franklin

Re:Why this isn't bad... (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145212)

They're not really stopping you from doing any of this (unless there is a disease wherever you want to go, which in that case you probably shouldn't go anyway), but now "they" know about it.

"They" don't know about it, since the information is kept by the airlines, not the CDC. If it is only available when there is a pandemic, then that is good.

But if you're not a terrorist (still don't know if they have a big readership on Slashdot) I don't really see the harm in telling the CDC where you're going so in case some flu pandemic breaks out where you just got back from they can notify you

Again, the airlines aren't telling the CDC, the airlines would simply be required to keep this information on file, which they are doing already anyway.

Sacrificing a little personal freedom for increased safety of the whole is worth it to me in THIS SITUATION.

Well, you're wrong on the facts, but let's assume you were right. Why is it bad for the government to have lots of personal information? Simple: they use it to blackmail people. No, that's not a tinfoil hat concern, it has a long tradition. "Vote our way, or we will leak information about your mistress/gambling habit/whatever".

Perhaps you should read up on COINTELPRO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145315)

Do you really think this will only be used for its stated purpose? The US government has a long history of spying on the people. See for example, COINTELPRO [icdc.com] which "conducted 740,000 investigations of 'subversive matters' and 190,000 investigations of 'extremist matters.'" [icdc.com] . If any of your acquaintances is acquainted with someone who is being investigated, you can bet you'll be investigated too.

The Brilliant Way to start... (3, Interesting)

fenodyree (802102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145031)

Frell Security! My privacy for security, poor trade, look at Britain...

But my health, my child's health! Definitely worth while to store all this information, in the case of an outbreak and all!

We need a constitutional amendment (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145098)

Privacy rights seem to be eroding every single day. The military wants the right to spy on US citizens without a warrant. The FBI wants functionality built into VoIP systems so they can eavesdrop without leaving the office. And now the CDC wants to collect details not only on who you are and how to contact you, but also who your acquaintances are.

With the seemingly never-ending erosion of privacy these days, congress needs to pass a constitutional amendment that puts clear restrictions on what data the government can collect, under what conditions, and what the government can do with this sort of data. There also needs to be clear standards for violating people's constitutional rights.

Without some very clear constitutional restrictions, this erosion of privacy will continue forever. Next the DOJ will want your list of acquaintances so they can track down terrorists. Then the CDC will want stores to identify everyone that purchased something and when. Then they will want cell phone companies to give them constant updates on where people are.

You would think that the fourth amendment would be clear enough:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But then it was decided this amendment should only apply to seizures, not searches. It was further decided that it was okay to bar people from doing anything unless they "voluntarily" surrendered this right every time they board a plane, buy a bus ticket, enter a federal building, an so on.

I don't buy this (4, Insightful)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145093)

There [sic] goal is to protect us in the event of a pandemic.

Sure, but who's going to protect us from them? I'm always leery of people wanting to "protect" me without being asked to do so. And if the airport questionnaire asks "Do you have stairs in your house?", then I think I'd rather walk.

Re:I don't buy this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145110)

what

Re:I don't buy this (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145160)

Indeed, I would not want any pusher robots coming to my place.

Re:I don't buy this (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145328)

why is porblem funny?

Re:I don't buy this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145355)

Who says they're ONLY protecting you? Most of us could give a shit if you died of avian flu. But if I were your neighbour and you infected my kids after coming back and got them sick/dead, who's going to be held responsible?

I'm sorry, but anonymousness isn't a one-size-fits-all excuse for you to bash ANY legislation that compromises your privacy ideals. We can all agree that there's such a thing as "too far". What the issue here is where you draw the line. I think that if their intention is to control an extremely deadly (and potentially very infectious) viral strain from entering the public, it's more than acceptable.

Think about this scenario:
You get on a plane on a round-trip to Hong Kong, and provide false information. When you get back, the CDC says "oh shit! Someone on the plane that [insert false name] was on a week ago had H5N1!" Since you provided false information, the CDC couldn't contact you. You go babysit one of your neighbours kids and infect them with H5N1. Are you willing to accept responsibility for that, if you didn't know that you were infected? What are your neighbour's options? If his kids die, it was DIRECTLY your fault for providing false information and preventing the CDC from contacting you. Could you live with that thought? What if one of your loved ones got infected and died from it?

Again, if YOU want to die from bird flu, go right ahead. We don't care about protecting YOU so much as protecting the people AROUND you. Please think more selflessly the next time you scream "omfgz0r oh noes my privacies!!!"

As always, either extreme for any situation can be harmful. If the CDC wants to know when you last clipped your toenails, I'd be screaming right along with you. However, your side of the extreme irresponsibly neglects the health and well-being of others around you.

Anon notification...they could use... (2)

nemik (909434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145131)

Homer's auto-dialer: "This is CDC. You or someone around you may have been exposed to . Please report to the nearest fenced area for quarantine. Thank you for traveling with ."

our right to privacy (3, Insightful)

plbg32 (778456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145139)

info on us can be collected on us under many precepts by our goverment and accessed by any in goverment. They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759 enough said....

CDC? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145157)

So the Cult of the Dead Cow has gone from crackers to trackers.
Yes, it all makes perfect sense!

Voluntary listing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145189)

Err... how about just making an opt-in list for people who want to be notified in case they were exposed?
Just run a few TV ads in every state and I guarantee that nearly everyone except neurotic Slashdotters (who are afraid that the government might find out what their address is....) will sign up.

Who will protect us... (1)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145193)

..... from spam..?
Hey my problem is that the airlines/travel agent are the ones holding the information.

Is any of this stuff *that* private? (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145227)

I'm having trouble seeing how this is such a terrible thing... take a look at what they're proposing to collect, FTFA [numbered items, below... italics are my comments]
  1. First, last and middle names, in addition to suffixes.
    You already have to provide your name due to security regulations. So I don't see how there's any change there, really.
  2. Current home address, including street, apartment number, city, state/province and ZIP code
    If you want to book travel, chances are you already provided this, in the form of a billing address, or a shipping address... so I don't see why this would be a big deal.
  3. Mobile, home or pager phone numbers
    Not too hard to give a fake one, and really, if you want to take the risk of being out-of-contact when the CDC is trying to contact you to tell you you have just been exposed to some sort of new strain of Hemorrhagic Fever... hey, it's your ass that's bleeding, not mine. :)
  4. E-mail address
    Okay, perhaps a stretch. But again, not too hard to set up a hotmail account, "mikes_garbage_email@hotmail.com", and provide that. You never even have to check it, if you don't want to.
  5. Passport or travel document, including the issuing country or organization
    I'm not sure of the regs on this, but it would seem to me that using your passport when you travel would get tracked somewhere in some government database already.
  6. Traveling companions or group
    And if you don't want to say who you're traveling with? Say you're traveling alone... not so hard, is it? What are they, going to deny you access to the airplane because you talked to someone while waiting in line?
  7. Flight information, including date, airline, flight number and return flight details
    Well, seems to me the airline would already know this, since you booked yourself on the flight and purchased tickets... so I think this falls in the "already tracked" category.
  8. Name, address and phone number of an emergency contact
    Again, not a particularly unreasonable request... but not hard to give bogus info if you really wanted to, either.


I guess I'm just having a lot of trouble seeing this as any sort of risk or violation of privacy, as I think most of this stuff would either be: a) already tracked, or b) easy to look up given that you HAVE to give your name to get on the plane... with a name and a credit card number, I'd imagine it would be pretty straightforward to track down pretty much anybody. (And let's be honest... sure, you could probably pay cash to buy the ticket... but how many people are REALLY going to do that?) It seems to me that this would simply allow the CDC to speed up the data collection... which means that it would take them 3 days to notify me I've been exposed to the new Ultra-death-killer SARS strain on my return flight from Singapore... rather than 2 weeks later, when I've already developed a strange cough . . . :)

Nothing to see here, move along... (3, Insightful)

core plexus (599119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145233)

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the "Don't Panic" machines are running on double overdrive.

There this piece from the Alaska HSS: "Although the recent spread of avian influenza to Europe is a major agricultural and economic threat, it is not a pandemic. [suvalleynews.com]

Scientists and public health experts agree that we cannot stop an influenza pandemic, but we can control and limit disease and death through early detection and a well-planned response. In Alaska, disease-monitoring systems are in place for detection of influenza.

Call me paranoid, but it looks like a multi-pronged approach. "See, there's no chance of a pandemic, it's an economic crises. But just in case, we'd like to get your information, and here a small chip we would like to plant just under your skin, temporarily. Thanks."

I live in the air crossroads (Alaska), for birds and people, and I'm not taking any chances, but I'm not going to panic, either.

I see that Alaska has been monitoring the Avian Flu since at least 2000.

Yeah, the Patriot Act. . . (1)

The Spanish Ninja (726892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145256)

had a "noble goal" too.

cDc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14145300)

What does the Cult of the Dead Cow have to do with stopping pandemics?

...Oh.

They want to collect these? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14145348)

Here are my hopefully humorous replies to the below.

1) Ummm, okay, they can have that I guess.
2) Current? Well, let us just say I'm transient with no fixed address, yeah, that's it.
3) I don't have my own phone number, seriously. Not everyone is privileged enough to pay $20+ per month to only use it scarcely.
4) Who says I have an e-mail address? Where is an e-mail address required to travel?
5) See number 1 above.
6) Ummm, I'm a loner, yeah, that's it.
7) See number 1 above.
8) See number 6 above.

1) First, last and middle names, in addition to suffixes.
2) Current home address, including street, apartment number, city, state/province and ZIP code.
3) Mobile, home or pager phone numbers.
4) E-mail address.
5) Passport or travel document, including the issuing country or organization.
6) Traveling companions or group.
7) Flight information, including date, airline, flight number and return flight details.
8) Name, address and phone number of an emergency contact.
Load More Comments
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