U.S. officials are reportedly pressuring airline executives to turn over the email addresses and phone numbers of international passengers as the Trump administration tries to track who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Government officials have said they need the data so they can warn local authorities about who might have been exposed to the virus. But the airline industry has balked, saying the federal government should instead share information it already collects among different agencies and come up with a system for obtaining the rest.
The impasse has dragged on for weeks. It has become a top issue of the Trump administration’s virus task force and U.S. lawmakers. The airline industry has pushed Congress to intervene, with some lobbyists asking lawmakers to insert a provision in an emergency spending package that would effectively absolve the airlines of having to track some of the data.
Airlines officials say collecting the data should not be their job since the government already has much of it in existing databases. They also said it would take as long as a year for the airlines to set up a tracking system.
The passenger data issue has raised alarms at meetings of the U.S. coronavirus task force. With more U.S. cases emerging in recent days, the federal government and the airline industry face enormous pressure to put in place a tracking system amid fears of the coronavirus’s spread.
source: Washington Post