• Why the system is needed
  • What it consists of
  • Very brief overview of the system in general



  • History
  • Social Components
  • Technical Components
  • Controversial/Unexpected Issues


Intellectual Property, Liability Ryan Prins

  • How much can the public know about our IP?
    • If they find out what the systems are that are used to classify people, there might be systems that will circumvent the entire system that was designed to prevent passengers who are a risk to fly.
  • How much should the public know about our IP?
    • The public has a right to know what information is being stored about them.
  • How will this IP be used?
    • Obviously the information will be used to design a system that will create a list of passengers that are safe and not safe to fly.
  • What will be done to protect this IP?
    • Specific safeguards will need to be put into place to help protect the IP and the systems that they run on.
  • Through the Government’s IP, do they get the keep the information that they find permanently?
    • How long is “long enough” for the information to be stored on the central database?
  • What happens if we lose some information to an outside source? What are the repercussions?
    • Would the Department of Homeland Security be liable if information that was stored about passengers was leaked to the public or to people who inquired about the information?
  • Legal action for false positives?
    • If someone is deemed to be on the not-fly list, but is actually no threat and this affects aspects of their life that would do damage to them personally or professionally, what action could be expected to be taken?
  • Risks of having the public find out what classifies a person in a specific category.
    • Mainly of issue here is the “red” category, or the no fly list.
  • Of the information that is being stored (the persons’ IP), does the government have the right to take this IP without first inquiring about obtaining it?
    • Or, is this implied because people would rather have safer skies than to be worried about their privacy, since this information is only used to determine if they can fly or not.


Ethics, Privacy, Information Policy Rufino Virata

Actions Taken, Benefits and Consequences


  • Airline Industry
    • Give existing information about customers to the government
    • Collects and gives information about customers to the TSA
    • Fingerprint and photograph foreign passengers
  • TSA (Government)
    • Verifies identification of passengers using commercial databases, does a criminal background check, assess how likely you will are involved in terrorist activity and assigns you a color.


  • May increase airline security
    • Government can more easily spot fraudulent identification papers
    • Prevent high risk passengers from boarding planes


Consequences/Concerns, privacy of passengers (positive, neutral or negative)

  • Passengers
    • May Infringe on civil liberties, Privacy Rights
      • Example, breach of privacy by NWA and Jet Blue
      • Data gathered may be used for reasons other than specified
    • The Data may be inaccurate
      • Mistaken Identity
    • Security of the dataàcriminals may use identity fraud or edit the data
    • Abuses on Information
      • Private information like medical/financial data may be used to classify
      • Classifications may be wrong, people will be wrongly accessed to be likely terrorists
    • How difficult will it be for customers are able to edit wrong data?
    • Inconvenience for passengers
  • Government
    • Will this really help reduce terrorism on planes?
  • More work for all airlines, foreign and domestic
  • Backlash against airline companies by passengers
    • Angry passengers have filed class-action lawsuits against both airlines, privacy groups have lodged complaints with government agencies and members of Congress are sending letters with sharp questions to airlines and government agencies involved in the projects.

Different Ethical viewpoints from Consequentialists, Deontologists and Professional Ethics

  • Ethical viewpoints depend on whether or not these issues can be resolved
    • Not used for any other reasons or this is a violation of Privacy, which is unethical. Need checks and balances.
    • Government takes appropriate action  to check that the information is accurate
    • Protection of these databasesàto prevent criminal activity
    • Customers have the ability to correct inaccurate data.
    • Keep the cases of mistaken identity to a minimum
    • Customers know exactly how and who will have access to the information they share to the airlines.
  • The consequentialist and deontologist viewpoint
    • Consequentialist will say it is ethical if and only if CAPPS II brings utility to society, it will benefit the majority more than it will hurt itàissue is will this really bring about reduction of airline terrorism?
    • Deontologist viewpointàas long as no one’s rights are being disregarded than CAPPS II is alright, so need to address outstanding issues





Social and Organizational Anthony Trotter

Introduction of Parties Involved


*      Who is affected or involved with CAPPS II?

Ø      Foreigners

Ø      Passengers

Ø      Non-passengers

Ø      Airline/airport employees, managers

Ø      Travel groups/agents, Vacation Resorts, etc.

Ø      Organizations providing commercial databases to the TSA, such as ChoicePoint, Experian, and Budget

Ø      Computer systems designers/programmers

Ø      The government, mainly the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, though other agencies might also use the information, such as the FBI, CIA, etc.


Needs and Issues Related to the Parties


*      Foreigners

Ø      Foreigners such as Europeans are guaranteed privacy rights by their country.  We can’t just go violating their privacy rights to try and protect our society from terrorists and other criminals.  Foreigners may not want to be perceived by others as potential terrorists.

*      Passengers

Ø      Passengers may be concerned about their privacy rights and misinformation.  Can they easily change misinformation?  How long does the government keep their information?  Will CAPPS II significantly reduce waiting in lines at security checkpoints?  Their information is stored on a computer, so are those computers secure?  The information obtained about them includes credit card numbers, phone numbers, etc.  How susceptible are they to identity theft?  Will CAPPS II make the passenger feel safer when flying?

*      Non-passengers

Ø      They have privacy rights too.  Is their information safe in the hands of the government?  Should the information they’ve entrusted to one company be given away to the government?

*      Airline/airport employees, managers

Ø      Airline employees, checkers, etc. also have needs.  They will need to learn how to use new computer systems, follow new procedures.  They may also want better safety for themselves.  Does CAPPS II mean more work, more pay?  Less work?  Less pay?  Management may be concerned with the amount of people they can get to buy airline tickets.  Will CAPPS II increase the amount of airline travel and business for airlines?  Can they be sued by passengers when they make a mistake?  Note:  I’m sure Jamie will be exploring the economic issues further, so I will just briefly bring up the point of lost business.


*      Travel groups/agents, Vacation Resorts, etc.

Ø      Travel groups and agents may benefit or lose from CAPPS II.  Safer travel may mean more travel, resulting in increased business.  On the other hand, unsafe travel, increases in wait times in airport security check points, or delayed flights may mean less travelers and less business.  Less travel means less business for resorts, airlines, etc.  Note:  I’m sure Jamie will be discussing this issue more.

*      Organizations providing database information

Ø      Organizations need what?  Perhaps they’ll receive tax benefits from the government if they offer their databases.  Do they really have a choice?  Does the government require it of them?  If the organizations don’t benefit, why be involved?  Do the organizations benefit by just being associated with the TSA?

*      Computer systems designers/programmers

Ø      They need to create a user friendly and secure system in order for this to work.  In addition, they need to create a system that handles the information without error, despite whether the user is an idiot or not.  In other words, the program shouldn’t fail or harm the system if a user enters some bad data.  What do they need to do this?  Probably feedback from real users, a lot of testing, and a sufficient amount of time to this.  Mistakes in the program can mean unintended cavity searches for non-criminals.

*      Government Agencies

Ø      The government needs to protect its people.  Without the support of its people, the government will not exist.  The question: can the government (Homeland Security and the TSA) protect its people without violating the rights of those they protect and don’t protect?  Currently, the TSA attempts to accomplish this through the aggregation and comparison of multiple organizational databases and recently acquired passenger information.  How will the government then use this information to protect its people?  Is there anything wrong with the way they are obtaining their information?  Overall, the government needs control.


Unexpected Consequences of CAPPS II

*      More crime?

Ø      What if the computer system has flaws?  What happens when data is in the wrong hands?

Economics of Information/IT Use Jamie Yaptinchay

Ø      Explanation of economics of information

o       Today’s economy is being recently deemed “economics of information”, how this change in perspective from the industrial driven economy affects solutions posed for increased airline security

Ø      Applying Economic laws

o       Basic supply and demand curve analysis, especially shifts in demand curves and elasticity of demand in regards to:

§         Airline / vacation pricing

§         Airline security personnel and travel agent wages

§         Incentive for increased identity theft and the costs of that

o       Expected market response, short run, long run

o       Game Theory! (Maybe, if can find a good example through further research. But I have faith that there’s Nash equilibriums in *everything* hAHah. We’ll see.)

o       The effect of TAXES to support CAPS II

Ø      Increased Costs?

o       For the traveler

§         Opportunity costs due to checks

§         The costs of “security” for “civil liberty”

§         Intangible costs of privacy

§         General market costs on travel

§         Possibly faster check-through for “green” flagged citizens

o       For the federal government

§         Costs of implementation of the system

§         Huge opportunity costs, government investment in this program means resources are being diverted from other programs, programs that could possibly do a better job at providing national security measures

§         Costs of civil liberties litigation?

Ø      From the Economics and IT Readings:

o       Economies of scale à “economies of networks”

o       Productivity Paradox

Ø      MC & MB Analysis

o       How do you do a basic marginal cost and marginal benefit analysis when the benefit is something intangible like security. How much are we willing to pay for the prevention of terrorism? Can one put a dollar value on that? And if not, how can we successfully determine if the marginal costs exceed the marginal benefits of the program?


Discussion and Conclusion