bunn (bunn) wrote,

  • Mood:

Feeling like the bottom of an inverted pyramid...

There is a huge monumental governmental project afoot to capture huge amounts of data about anyone who flies outside the UK and submit it to a Monstrous Central database.   There are working parties and coordinators and guidelines and monstrous great teams of highly paid and (I hope) highly trained people working on this. 

But of course, someone has to actually collect that data from the passengers, ensure it is captured and stored  and sent to the Monstrous Database in a timely manner.  That task, for one small airline, is done by me and my airline contact, Steve.

I am somewhat concerned that although we have received an absolute DELUGE of materials, much of it explaining concepts in incredible detail (want a full specification for SFTP...?) or giving brain-numbing descriptions of templates -  we haven't had what I would have thought was the basics.

 Like, 'don't send this data in plaintext  email' - if I had to point out that wasn't a good move, then someone, at some airline somewhere has probably not said it.    And nothing on how the data is to be stored at all, or whether we are supposed to delete it after they have flown...

Apparently the longterm plan is for the system eventually to be responsive: the airline will send off all its passenger data half an hour before the flight takes off, then the Mighty Arm of the State will reply to say who should, and should not, be allowed to fly.  This will happen both in and outbound, so it's possible that someone might fly out of the country, then find that a database glitch makes it impossible for them to get back in.

The potential for mistakes and chaos there strikes me as truly hair raising. 

Oh yeah, and the other thing is, we have to do this for flights to France, but not flights to Ireland. It's supposed to be about security and terrorism, but I'm not entirely clear why Dublin is less of a likely source of terrorists than Grenoble.  Am imagining crack squads of terrorists on skis swooping from the Alps. 
Tags: loons, politics, work

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