EU Parliament wants to halt air passenger data transfer to US


On Thursday 9 October the European Parliament plenary session adopted a highly critical report on the passing over of data on airline passengers to the USA. The parliament's Resolution calls for an imediate halt to the data transfers and for the issue to be resolved by 1 December or face an action takne to the European Court of Justice: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2003/oct/eppnrresol.pdf (pdf)

Interviewed by Reuters news agency on 9 October Mr Bolkestein, the Internal Market Commissioner, said that: "At the moment we are in a situation of doubtful legality". He went on to say that a solution to the matter could be the signing of a transatlantic treaty on data flow that contains derogations from EU privacy rules for the United States - this is the "solution" he had told the European Parliament was on the table because EU governments were divided over whether or not to enforce EC law.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor comments:

"The European Parliament has rightly made a strong stand and backed the call of International Data Protection Commissioner for an international agreement which respect EU standards. The current position of the Commission is untenable, we are being told yet again that EU standards need to be tailored to the demands of US agencies. The Commission should be telling the USA that EU data protection standards are not negotiable - if they want access to data they have to adopt a comparable law of their own to protect the rights of EU and US citizens alike from misuse."


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