Feeds

Europe rebuffs US flight info data grab

MEPs vote no

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The European Parliament has voted to stop the United States from collecting passenger data on EU citizens. The US Department of Homeland Security had sought access to the flight data, based on PNR (Passenger Name Records) but also including the passenger's email address, and a compromise was reached in January, although details only leaked out earlier this year.

Under the 1995 Privacy Directive, the Commission is required to "assess the level of data protection afforded by a third country in the light of all the circumstances surrounding a data transfer operation or set of data transfer operations". The MEPs resolution adopted by Parliament in a 229-202 vote, MEPs judged the level of data protection to be "inadequate".

The MEPs pointedly note that there is no legal precedent for using PNRs for "public security" and that "in the USA, the protection of privacy is not regarded as a fundamental right. In the USA, only US citizens are granted the right to data protection." Through private database companies who frequently act as government contractors, the US has acquired driving and medical records of millions of Latin Americans.

The MEPs rejected the January draft and want guarantees from the US that would allow passengers to correct their data, who exactly gets what information of for what purposes, and for how long, and the establishment of an independent appeals body.

It's a non-binding decision, which means that the European Commission, which is appointed rather than elected, and which negotiated the agreement with the US, is not obliged to obey. However, MEPs say that they will appeal to the European Court of Justice, if the EC ignores the Parliament's decision. ®

Related stories

EU Commission plots global travel surveillance system
Europe too? US acquires hundreds of millions of Latino citizens' data
Commission agrees US access to EU citizen personal data
Got a ticket? Get a record. EU-US data handover deal leaks
Data on 10m Northwest fliers handed to NASA for 'testing'
Commission agrees US access to EU citizen personal data
EU rattles sabres over US use of airline passenger data
US given direct access to data on EU airlines' computers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.