Feeds

US and EU stitch up airline passenger data deal

And data protection law

High performance access to file storage

Then the US had wanted to keep the data it collects about people for at least eight years. The EU got it to settle with three and a half years. But Baker's letter said that as the new agreement only ran for nine months anyway, that restriction had been invalidated.

The real stickler was the EU's lauded "push" system for giving the US data about its citizens. US border control has been pulling the data, which means it takes what it needs straight from airlines' passenger databases. In 2004, the US agreed to a push system, which would mean that airlines handed over only the relevant passenger information.

The Department of Homeland Security still hasn't got round to giving up its pulling habit. But it has agreed to do so. Faull presented this as a way to ensure the US could get its hands on only that data it had agreed with the EU.

But Baker's letter, said the US push system was not going to be so restrictive: "The design of the system itself must permit any PNR data in the airline reservation or departure control systems to be published to DHS in exceptional circumstances where augmented disclosure is strictly necessary," he said.

Also, the EU's requirement that the US query only 34 fields of data about each passenger, was to be ignored (not forgetting a desire in Europe for the US to query no more than 15).

"The undertakings authorize DHS to add data elements to the 34 previously set forth...if such data is necessary," Baker said.

In other words, the US would take whatever data it wanted from the airlines, regardless of what it had agreed with the EU.

This could prove to be a difficult test for Europe's data protection law. Member states, through the Council of Ministers, have unanimously endorsed the US view of PNR signed up to in the new agreement. (They have yet to pass the agreement on Thursday, but have already given diplomatic approval enough for it to have been struck).

The test will centre on whether EC data protection law has competence over the transfer of data to countries without adequate data protection when the purpose of the transfer is security. The ECJ already ruled in June that the EC administration did not have the competence to strike the old PNR agreement, thus invalidating it.

It neglected to decide on the wider issue of whether the law was competent. That's next on the menu. And the ECJ advocate general has already indicated that he might prefer to side with the security hawks if he was required to intervene again. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
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
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.
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.
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.