Data, data, who's got the data?

August 20, 2012

Worried that Big Brother is watching? Concerned TSA is snooping through personal data online? Is your medical insurance company sharing data with the FAA? With the proliferation of online services, shopping, and banking—oh, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr—how safe is your data anyhow?

Aviation enthusiast and doctoral candidate David Scibelli is wondering how much we as a society worry about such things. Scibelli is working on his Ph.D. at Robert Morris University. The research is designed to uncover how much consumers understand about how their personal information is collected and used through the technology that is prevalent and embedded in all aspects of our lives.

When the project is done next year, Scibelli will share the results of the survey with AOPA, including a break-out of how pilots compare to the rest of the population. The survey is anonymous and no personal information is kept about individuals completing the questions. The first series of questions asks basic demographic questions; later questions ask about your understanding of who keeps what type of data and where.

The online survey takes about five minutes to complete.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.