In an effort to remove innocent people from being placed on “no fly” lists the TSA has instituted it's Secure Flight Program. Look for this to begin domestically early this summer with international flights to follow.
What this means to you:
Be prepared to give the birth date & gender for every person you purchase an airline ticket for. The information is then passed from the airlines (who used to do the vetting) to the TSA who use “a uniform, efficient matching process”.
Of course this kind of security is costing the airlines “an estimated $630 million in costs to reprogram reservation systems and collect the passenger data, according to the TSA”. And we all know how those costs will be recouped…
Personally I'm not sure how I feel about this. Of course I want flights to be as safe as possible and I know that programs like these have helped to keep us safe since 9/11. From the bit of information that is being requested I don't think it's any more of a privacy violation than many websites request to sign up for newsletters… It just seems, to me, like a waste of money for a program that probably won't make much difference to the majority of people.