ASTA Participates in DOT Hearing on Privacy

washingtonIn the face of ongoing public concern with data security and privacy  rights,  the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it represented the interests of the travel agency community at the fourth public meeting of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection (ACACP). The committee focused on airline passengers’ data security.

“This meeting focused primarily on the privacy of personal information collected in connection with the purchase of air travel from airlines and travel agents, of all shapes and sizes,” said ASTA SVP Legal & Industry Affairs, Paul Ruden. “DOT asked ASTA to help the committee understand what data travel agents collect, how they collect it and what policies and measures are in place to secure it.”

During the meeting, Ruden provided a brief overview of the travel agency perspective, and introduced ASTA Premium Member Stan Brown, Vice President of Business Development at Omega World Travel in Fairfax, VA, who provided the committee with an overview of Omega’s procedures and policies for collecting, storing, transmitting and securing customer data.

The committee also heard from staff members from the DOT’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings on the steps taken by the Department to implement the committee’s first set of recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation and an update on the status of ongoing rulemaking and enforcement initiatives affecting consumer protection in air travel, including DOT’s ongoing crackdown on code-share notification violations.

The advisory committee is made up of Lisa Madigan, Illinois attorney general; David Berg, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Airlines for America; Deborah Ale-Flint, director of aviation for Oakland International Airport; and Charles Leocha, founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance.


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