Passenger Movement Tracking in Light of Privacy Rights By Alex Hopson Passenger movement is a valuable form of feedback that assists an airportâ€™s management in facility design, customer service, and numerous types of commercial and service offerings. Airports desire to know security queue wait times, passenger dwell times, and passenger flow concentrations and chokepoints, at minimum. The traditional methods of gaining this data and information have been passenger surveys and direct passenger observation. However, recently, airports of all sizes are considering the use of the latest technologies to increase revenue, increase customer service and make the passenger experience more enjoyable. A host of software systems and applications exist which surpass human collection techniques and provide data with larger passenger sample sizes. These tracking technologies are less intrusive, operate 24-hours a day, and can be compiled to give airports a variety of valuable metrics. Companies such as Boingo, Lockheed-Martin, Eyecycles, and the Amor Group, to name a few, offer ap-
plications that utilize WiFi, Bluetooth, biometrics, laser counters, RFID, thermal imaging, mobile phone RSSI, and CCTV to track passenger airport movements. However, passengers and airports alike have concerns about individual privacy rights when using such automated tracking technologies. Is it permissible for an airport to track passengers and their mobile devices for non-security reasons without violating privacy rights? Many airports are concerned about Invasion of Privacy claims from passengers. According to Harvard Law School, Invasion of Privacy is in reality four causes of action under civil law. However, only one is potentially relevant to basic passenger movement trackingâ€”i.e., intrusion of solitude and seclusionâ€”which occurs when one party, without authorization, intentionally invades the private affairs of another; the invasion also has be offensive to a reasonable person, the matter that is intruded upon has to be private, and finally, the intrusion must have Continued on next page.
State Aviation Journal Page 23
State Aviation Journal - Spring 2014