Lynne wrote: "I feel this announcement is more the government getting a centralized database rolling while it has its foot in the door, so to speak."
Yes, the airline terror scare is just the window dressing to get the foot in the door. The database will not be administered by the airlines, but by the government.
This will be a profiling database on *all* Americans -- they have to already have a profile on you *before* you fly, or what's the point.
The database will most likely tie together all public and private data-sets that the feds can get their hands on: flight records (obviously), driver's license records, credit reports, IRS records, bank records, reports from informants.
Because the social security number is used so commonly as a unique ID, this will be very easy to do.
Unlike credit reports, there will probably be no recourse for a citizen to view or correct the information in this database.
This is the sort of thing J Edgar Hoover used to do on his enemies. Now all Americans will have a Federal dosier -- and because of advances in database technology there will be much more so-called "information" tied together for use and abuse.