September 28, 2003

JETBLUE PASSENGERS are unhappy about it sharing their personal data.

Interestingly, Wesley Clark is on the board of Acxiom, the company involved, according to this story in the Post. Clark didn’t have a specific role with JetBlue, it says, but he was behind the development of the passenger-information database involved.

Does this tell us anything about the privacy policies of a Clark Administration? I don’t know. Somebody should probably ask him. At the moment, he’s getting beaten on pretty badly:

“The privacy impact of anti-terrorism initiatives is certain to be a major issue in the presidential campaign,” said David L. Sobel, general counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group in the District.

“The public is extremely skeptical,” he said. “He owes the public an explanation as to how, if elected, he would limit the government’s expanding collection of personal information about citizens.”

Others believe that Clark faces skepticism about the money he took to represent Acxiom, even though many former military leaders have done the same thing.

“There’s something unseemly and, yes, mercenary, about a distinguished general lobbying for a company trying to get government contracts,” said Charles Lewis, executive director for the Center for Public Integrity.

Think Howard Dean might make an issue out of this?

UPDATE: There’s more on this at Cryptome, along with the question: “Will Wesley Clark do the right thing and disavow Acxiom?”