Feeds

EFF sues US over passenger data

Tell us more

High performance access to file storage

The US Government faces a lawsuit demanding information about the controversial programme which forces airlines to disclose information about European travellers to the US.

The suit follows the Government's apparent refusal to give up information following a freedom of information request.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the digital rights group, has filed the case against the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The suit demands that the DHS release records about how collected data is handled, maintained, used, disclosed and secured.

The EU and the US agreed a controversial deal in 2004 which forced airlines to disclose information to the US. The European Parliament objected to the deal and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled it illegal.

The ECJ's decision said that the previous agreement broke European rules on a technicality after the European Parliament had opposed it on grounds of substance. The substance of the deal was never tested by the ECJ, which made no further decision once it found the technical flaw in its implementation.

The EU and US then agreed a very similar deal which critics said granted the US even more power to gather and process data, but which the European Commission said gave it more control over data. That deal is an interim one, and a new agreement must be signed on a more permanent basis by next summer.

The deal means that 34 pieces of information about passengers gathered by airlines at the time of booking are automatically passed to US authorities before a plane even lands in the US.

The EFF is now seeking information about the handling of that data. "Travellers may give up a lot of personal information when they make flight reservations," said Marcia Hofmann, an attorney at the EFF. "Those travelling between Europe and the United States deserve to know who gets to see that data, how the information is protected, and whether those practices comply with EU law.

The EFF had previously asked for that information under the Freedom of Information Act, but the DHS failed to respond to their request, it said.

The case has been filed under the Freedom of Information Act in the District Court of the District of Columbia seeking access to records under the FOI Act.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
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
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.