Starting August 15, airline passengers will be required to submit their birthday and gender when booking an airline ticket. This new security measure comes as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes over the responsibility of checking airline passenger names against the terrorist watch list. Including individuals’ gender and birth date is expected to cut down on cases of mistaken identity.
The new process will be phased in over several months, and the government expects full implementation to be completed by March 31 of next year. This means that not all passengers will be required to provide this additional personal information right away.
And for now, there won’t be any penalty for failing to provide your gender and birthday, whether you intentionally refuse or accidentally omit these details. But Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeman David Soule told the Washington Post that once the program is fully operational, passengers who don’t comply could be denied boarding passes.
David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association of America, said this simply means passengers would be subjected to additional screening before receiving a boarding pass.
So, is this an invasion of privacy, or a small thing to exchange for fewer traveling headaches? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.