So, on my way to Las Vegas en route to the MVP Summit 2010 and where do I get to travel via? Of course, my favourite airport London Gatwick Just a note, it’s neigh on impossible for me to “avoid” Gatwick, so every time I get to fly through Gatwick I ensure to keep a look out for interesting things. If you’re a frequent reader in the past you surely know about their difficulties with the Windows XP monitors and you’ve probably read about my thoughts on the MyMemory automated vending machines (Story1, Story2, Story3). Well, good news, today all of the monitors I passed were working and the prices in the MyMemory machine were better than before and competitive with Dixons (who now seem to operate two shops in the South Departures Lounge). However what was worrying was what I came across upstairs.
For those of you who haven’t had the experience of travelling through Gatwick lately, over the past 18-24 months Gatwick has gone through various transformations, one of them being moving the primary security channel from the ground floor to the upstairs just outside the main restaurant. Supposedly there are more security machines and they can get passengers through more effectively and efficiently. Personally, I don’t believe it, and in my personal experiences, I’m waiting longer upstairs, but hey ho. What scared me today though was the sign I came across as part of Gatwick’s further transformations.
Upstaris, after clearing the security channel there was a set of scaffolding to what looked like roof access. Being the curious type, I approached it and low and behold exposed to the outside world – the names and telephone numbers of all of the parties involved in the works on transforming Gatwick. No, not internal telephone extensions, rather their mobile numbers. Yep, fully exposed to the public:
Now, I know usually you can get information if you work hard at trying to unearth it or uncover it, but hey, here it is open to Joe Public and no strings attached. You’d like to think that they’d put this sheet behind the door where people who were working on the project – those who would need these numbers – would have secure access to, but nah, let’s throw data protection to the wind and make it visible for everyone.
N.B. For protection of those innocent I’ve blacked out the last two digits of everyone’s mobile, but should you want them, book a flight via Gatwick and as soon as you’re through the security channel, presto, they’re yours for having
So, food for thought, if you ever do any contracting work at Gatwick or do work for BAA, I’d ask them their idea of data protection as you’re mobile number, should you be anyone involved in the project at a level of any significance, will be visible to all. Thanks again Gatwick and BAA for making my delay all the more interesting by yet again giving me another story to write about your airport