In Brothers an unknown recall element in Data causes him to successfully highjack the ship in a way no one else could without any preparation or use of props.

Therefore, was the Enterprise modified in any way to prevent Data being able to do this again? For example changing the ships systems so that Data cannot impersonate Picard and achieve access rights above his own?

If not, why is he allowed on the ship when they know he can, at a moment's notice, bypass the security systems and gain access to any voice activated system by impersonating the real person?

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    Because everyone can hijack any ship. Romulans can capture the Prometheus, Binaries can hijack the Enterprise, so can Moriati, the emergent lifeform, Ferengis can hijack the Stargazer... Judging from that, it seems the Federation just don't care at all! So I am positive they didn't upgrade the security systems: It's not Star Fleet policy to hinder anyone to compromise any given system! Why make an exception for Data?!
    – Einer
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:02
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    This seems very vague. Yes, there are clearly many security elements in place but Starfleet mainly rely on vetting and psychological screening to ensure that their officers don't go insane and take over their vessels : q.v. Mr Eddington
    – Valorum
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:27
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    True but they also lock things with voice activation. The passwords are spoken out loud in company so cannot be that important. It just seems to be the voice but Data has shown he can bypass this. His duplicating of Picard's voice in the episode is clearly shown, if he can do this once and seize the ship how do you stop him doing it again?
    – Stefan
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:29
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    @Stefan - Wesley is shown using a voice synthesiser to much the same effect in "The Naked Now"; st-minutiae.com/academy/literature329/103.txt
    – Valorum
    Aug 27, 2014 at 11:01
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    Star Trek is a madhouse - security-wise. Arik Soong can escape his high security prison using a pad. Worf can hack into a Warbird. Seska can override holodeck-security from her grave. You can simply beam out of a Jem Hadar Prison. You can disable any holding-cell (Star Fleet or alien) by destroying the control panel. The list goes on and on and the only possible reason for this is, that otherwise 70% of the stories could never work.
    – Einer
    Aug 27, 2014 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


I don't have any Canon to support this but:

As far as I remember from the Brothers episode, Data was "hijacked" by his creator Dr Noonian Soong who then died in the episode. As no other person would have the knowledge or ability to hijack Data I doubt the future threat would be seen as significant.

Alternatively, once Data knew about his security flaw, he would be in a position to fix it which he would probably do as Lore also knew about the flaw as he also suffered from it.

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    My problem would be that Data can over ride the security systems at will as they only seem based on voice matching. What is the point of a having a security system which someone on the ship is immune to?
    – Stefan
    Aug 27, 2014 at 10:28
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    Picard was vetted and trained to resist coercion. Wiping everyone's memories and planting a stooge complete with computer records is such an edge case it cannot realistically be catered for. An accurate recording of, say, Picard giving commands would work but how would you get onto the ship to play it? What if another voice activation was required? etc. However, having someone on the ship whom you know can bypass the security system at will by impersonating any senior officer seems like something that should be addressed.
    – Stefan
    Aug 27, 2014 at 11:00
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    For an out of universe answer tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SwissCheeseSecurity
    – Jaydee
    Aug 27, 2014 at 12:48
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    Minor typo: it's spelled soong, instead of sung. Aug 27, 2014 at 12:55

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