Full-text of EU-US agreement on the transfer of personal data (1)
01 February 2004
update: 4.2.04: EU planning to nod through use of PNR data for use by CAPPS II: Report and documentation
Statewatch has obtained a copy of the agreement between the EU and the US on the transfer of the personal data of airline travellers (known as PNR, Passenger Name Record). This shows that data protection and civil liberties concerns have not been met in the agreement negotiated by the European Commission.
Two steps are now proposed for the adoption of the agreement. First, the Commission intends to make a statement of "adequacy" under Article 25.6 of the 1995 EC Directive on data protection (95/46/EC). The only grounds on which the European Parliament can intervene are if it passes a Resolution on the grounds that the draft implementing measure "would exceed the implementing powers provided for in the basic instrument". The formal decision is taken by the Commission's Article 31 Committee comprised of representatives of each EU member state which decide by majority voting. This Committee will be asked to agree a "light bilateral agreement" allowing EU-based airlines to treat the US demands as legal requirements.
Full text of:
"Undertakings of the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)" (pdf)
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:
"There is no way that the European Commission can declare these undertakings as "adequate" under EU data protection laws. But it will unless civil society and the European Parliament make their views known clearly and unequivocally.
This agreement will be followed by another on CAPPS II allowing the further use of the data to screen travellers and then the US-VISIT scheme will create a life-time history. There will be no controls over how many agencies in the USA will have access to the data or how they will use it or who they will pass it on to."
1. "Undertakings of the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)" (pdf)
2. Privacy International report (pdf) - released 2 February 2004
3. update: 4.2.04: EU planning to nod through use of PNR data for use by CAPPS II: Report and documentation
4. USA to use EU PNR data for CAPPS II testing despite assurances the agreement would not cover it: Report
5. Statewatch: Commission did agree that PNR data can be used for CAPPS II testing, but the question is why? Report and analysis
6. See also Statewatch's Observatory on PNR & USA
7. See also Statewatch's Observatory on EU PNR scheme