Feeds

Europe rebuffs US flight info data grab

MEPs vote no

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.