British Airways Criticized Over Plan to Google Passengers

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by sobore, Jul 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406786,00.asp

    A new British Airways program aimed at creating more personalized experience for customers has the airline in hot water with privacy advocates.

    The airline recently started outfitting staff members with technology to help them recognize selected travelers, such as chief exectives of financial companies, without having to ask their name, The Telegraph reported. The so-called "Know Me" program involves Googling future fliers so that cabin crew members and staff at check-in desks and first-class lounges can "put a face to the name before the customer sets foot in the airport."

    The airline has said it just wants to create a more efficient and personal experience for customers, but the move expectantly has privacy advocates up in arms.

    "Surely if BA want more information about us they can simply ask for it?" Emma Carr, deputy director of British civil liberties and privacy group Big Brother Watch, wrote in a Friday blog post.

    Read More: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406786,00.asp
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This reminds me of a new Starwood program which has hotel employees looking at arriving guest's FB, LinkedIn, etc. profiles. There's a thread on FT about creepy Starwood stalkers.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Time to update my LinkedIn profile with fake information. Founder of This, CEO of That, PhD at age 21, three space shuttle missions with a combined time of seven months in space, Medal of Freedom, Knighted by the Queen... that should get me the suite upgrade, no?
     
  4. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I guess this explains why I usually get the musty room near the janitors closet.

    My Resume on LinkedIn:

    'Long John Silvers' deep fryer operator 1991 - 1994
    Guest of the Sate of Illinois (Joliet) 1995 - 2000
    Guest of the Sate of Illinois (Pontiac) 2000 - 2002
    Freelance Clown 2003 - 2007
    Guest of the Sate of Illinois (Joliet) 2008 - 2010

    :D
     
  5. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    I'm adding that I'm a researcher for the AAA 5-diamond award.
     
  6. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Not sure I'd like this, but I think many google others all the time.
     
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  7. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    I'm more concerned about what google is doing with your information without your permission.

    If you have applied for a job in the past 4 years you already know that anything online is fair game for the employerr to look up.

    Don't see how airlines are any different.

    Are they requesting forbidden information or data you did not give permission to Google to release? If not, it sounds kosher to me.
     
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  8. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    No.
     
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  9. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    "know your customer"...just look at your (flight) database and you can see if the person in seat 1A is worth greeting personally, or not.
     
  10. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I think we should have option to add photo to our EC profile and leave it at that. If you want them "to know you" then your choice. sometimes I just want to be left alone. Even w/google there are downsides as you won't know I manage over 1m business spend w/BA but you will see every FB post at my gym to win contests. does that mean you won't give me a cookie and red wine b/c there aren't healthy given my workout history you googled? How will they get to know you and really does anyone think or expect the airlines to care about you, really? I want to from A to B in comfort w/good food/wine
     
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  11. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    very true!! fully agree...
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's why they won't find any such thing in my FB profile. For the occasional "like us, get 500 miles" I have a fake FB account. My real account is private and won't like any business or post on any walls or install any app... ever. I wouldn't even have it if it wasn't the nay way nowadays to contact some friends/family.
     
  13. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Alderman Sobore, it's an honor to see you again!
     
  14. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    A CATSA agent pulled up my FB profile last time I went to Canada, and asked me some questions based on the info posted there (to ensure I wasn't actually going to be working while in the country)

    (I have a public FB page for my sculpture, separate from my private page)
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I had an ICE agent once yahoo! me upon entry into the US at SFO.
     
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  16. thetravelanalyst

    thetravelanalyst Silver Member

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    This comes secondhand, but a colleague of mine who's friends with a BA FA told me these new procedures are really about FAs being able to share extensive information amongst each other about passengers. e.g., this particular FA encountered a passenger who apparently had a history of insisting he'd requested an exit row seat because of a bad back and was really mean about it. He'd scored several switches to Business Class as a result but this particular FA moved the exit row passenger to Business and the complaining passenger to the exit row.

    Not sure if this is true, but it does encourage me to be a lot nicer to FAs!
     
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  17. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    That sort of thing is happening (although not necessarily quite that dramatically), but hasn't got anything to do with the use of Google. That information is internal BA information that it already has and is already being made available on the iPads.

    Of course, a passenger with a bad back should not be in an exit row.
     
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