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Airlines, regulator responsible for preventing leakage of personal info

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-22 08:12

DO YOU WANT TO get a seat beside your favorite celebrity on a flight? Some reports say the flight information of some film and sports stars, even their mobile phone and ID card numbers, have been sold online. Revealing personal information of any individual without permission is illegal, and those responsible for such leaks deserve appropriate punishments, says an editorial in Beijing News:

Film stars are not the only ones whose personal information is leaked. Flight details and personal information of even ordinary people are leaked, and swindlers use it to defraud people.

The media is full of reports on people receiving calls from defrauders pretending to be airline employees who trick them into paying money. These fraudsters win people's trust because they have all the information about them.

How do fraudsters get such information?

First, airline employees who have access to information on passengers might "sell" it to swindlers. In several cases, airline employees, ticket agents, even online booking platforms were found to have stolen passengers' information and "sold" it to fraudsters. This is a crime and the suspects should be punished.

And second, hackers can steal such information from airlines' websites and pass it on to fraudsters in exchange for money. Most of the domestic airlines and ticketing agencies use one unified system, Eterm, developed by a company called Travel Sky. Many believe the system has many loopholes and a poor security mechanism. That too many of its employees have access to the personal information of passengers makes matters worse.

As the dominant player in the ticket-booking sector, Travel Sky is responsible for making its system more secure. And the Civil Aviation Administration of China is responsible for regulating the entire industry. When a victim of information leakage wants to sue an airline or a ticketing agent, he/she finds it hard to collect enough evidence to nail either the airline or the agent.

Therefore, the administration should take stricter measures to regulate these companies in order to better protect passengers' personal information, or the entire civil aviation industry will suffer.

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