Airline Passenger Profiling for Profit

Bruce Schneier discusses an article (subscription required) about a start-up company called Jetera, who plans to combine people’s flight data with their financial & credit data in order to create in-flight personalization as well as pre- and post-flight mailings and other personalized services:

Jetera would start with an airline’s information on individual passengers on board a given flight, drawing the name, address, credit card number and loyalty club status from reservations data. Through a process, for which it seeks a patent, the company would match the passenger’s identification data with the mountains of information about him or her available at one of the mammoth credit bureaus, which maintain separately managed marketing as well as credit information. Jetera would tap into the marketing side, showing consumer demographics, purchases, interests, attitudes and the like.Jetera’s data manipulation would shape the entertainment made available to each passenger during a flight. The passenger who subscribes to a do-it-yourself magazine might be offered a video on woodworking. Catalog purchase records would boost some offerings and downplay others. Sports fans, known through their subscriptions, credit card ticket-buying or booster club memberships, would get “The Natural” instead of “Pretty Woman.”

Privacy is (sort of) dealt with at the end of the article:

Jetera sees two legal issues regarding privacy and resolves both in its favor. Nothing Jetera intends to do would violate federal law or airline privacy policies as expressed on their websites. In terms of customer perceptions, Jetera doesn’t intend to abuse anyone’s privacy and will have an “opt-out” opportunity at the point where passengers make inflight entertainment choices.If an airline wants an opt-out feature at some other point in the process, Jetera will work to provide one, McChesney says. Privacy and customer service will be an issue for each airline, and Jetera will adapt specifically to each.



  1. Pingback: Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)
  2. Hello all!

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