Feeds

EU hands airline data to US

European Parliament bypassed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

European Community officials signed off a deal to transfer airline passenger data (passenger name records, PNR) to the US authorities last Friday.

The controversial agreement goes into effect despite a vote by the European Parliament last month to refer the deal - which quite clearly breaches EU privacy legislation - to the European Court of Justice. By getting European foreign ministers to back the deal the Commission has pushed through the contentious proposals despite data privacy concerns.

The Commission has argued that these concerns were misplaced because it had won major concessions during the negotiations with the US (decide for yourself here), and that refusing to agree to US demands would result in chaos in transatlantic flights. Then there's the now familiar argument that the transfer of passenger data was vital to the 'War on Terror'.

The agreement was signed in Washington DC by US Secretary for Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Ambassador Noel Fahey of Ireland representing the EU Presidency, and Ambassador Guenter Burghardt, Head of the European Commission Delegation in Washington. "This agreement goes hand-in-hand with the Decision adopted two weeks ago by the European Commission, establishing the adequacy of US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection’s personal data protection," the Commission helpfully explains.

The Agreement and the “Adequacy finding” are linked, so that the former only remains in force as long as adequate data protection in the US is granted.

The deal provides the legal framework under which airlines can transfer passenger data to US authorities and it grants permission to US authorities to access such data held on EU territory. The US Customs and Border Protection service has made an undertaking to protect transferred data.

Which is nice.

US authorities have promised to reciprocal support for any European passenger identification system that may be adopted in the future. In the meantime there's a promise that the American's will not use the data they have obtained to discriminate against Europeans. ®

Related stories

Ministers thwart MEPs, OK EU-US airline data deal
Europe rebuffs US flight info data grab
Campaigners fight biometric passports
Got a ticket? Get a record. EU-US data handover deal leaks
Data on 10m Northwest fliers handed to NASA for testing
eBay to Feds: come and get what you want
EU rattles sabres over US use of airline passenger data
Congress threatens two hi-tech Gestapo programs
US given direct access to data on EU airlines' computers

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP and Microsoft prove it again: Big Business Doesn't Create Jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.