A news article suggesting Sabre could assist the U.S.
government in tracking cases of Covid-19 was “highly speculative,” the company
Sabre said it had not been asked to participate in
surveilling traveler movement.
On July 16, Forbes published an article
headlined “The FBI is secretly using a $2 billion travel company as a global
surveillance tool.” The article discusses the kind of data Sabre has and talks
about Sabre’s dealings with the government in the past, like giving testimony on
congressional panels. It also talks about a 2015 instance in which the FBI
asked Sabre and Travelport to provide records on a credit card fraud suspect.
“Sabre’s valuable database could soon go from hunting
fugitives to stopping an invisible virus,” the article states. “The same data
tap that’s been turned on by the FBI could prove a boon for the U.S. government
in surveilling the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a constant and
accurate record of the movements of global populations.”
Despite its headline, the report did say that “Sabre hasn’t
revealed any such plans.”
In a statement issued Monday, Sabre said it had received a
number of inquiries about the article.
“First, Sabre has not been asked to participate in any
projects related to Covid-19 tracking or tracking of populations as suggested
in the article,” Sabre said.
The company also said it complies with court orders,
subpoenas and other requests that are “legally valid.”
“The article may leave the perception that Sabre receives a
large number of such requests,” Sabre said. “This is wholly inaccurate.”