Feeds

EU court stomps passenger data sharing

US deal illegal, say judges

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The European Court of Justice has ruled that a deal the European Commission made with the US to allow access to passenger's personal information was illegal. The data-sharing scheme was approved by all 25 member states, but annulled by judges today.

The agreement allows authorities in the US access to airlines' Passenger Name Records (PNR) as part of the the US's self-declared War on Terror. As well as names, the files can include address, date of birth, timing and duration of trips, and other data.

After the deal was struck in May 2004, members of the European Parliament appealed to the Court of Justice. They said the commission had decided US authorities would give adequate protection to data on the basis of a directive that does not cover the issues in question.

The court agreed the directive does not allow for personal data collected for commercial or service purposes to then be used for public security purposes, since public security "falls outside the scope of community law". The council of national governments was also wrong to ratify the contract, parliamentarians argued. The court again agreed, overturning both the commission's decision, and the subsequent approval.

Judges said the deal wouldn't have to wind-up until 30 September "for reasons of legal certainty". Commissioners said they would respect the court's decision and now have four months to sort out the diplomatic mess and look for an alternative solution. The government's Information Commission has denied the UK is considering a standalone bilateral PNR-sharing scheme.

It said: "It is important that there are proper data protection safeguards surrounding the transfer of airline passenger details to foreign government authorities and we have done a lot of work with other EU data protection authorities to try to ensure adequate safeguards are in put in place."

"The decision of the European Court of Justice to annul the European Commission's data protection adequacy finding was based on technical legal issues and will have no immediate impact on the flow of passenger data or UK airlines data protection compliance."

The US side of the deal was brokered by the Department of Homeland Security. Its original statement on the arrangement is here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.