EU-US: Final Report by EU-US High Level Contact Group on information sharing and privacy and personal data protection

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The report (pdf) was presented at the EU-US Summit on 12 June 2008. See: EU and US near deal on confidential data sharing (euobserver, link)

The High Level Group was set up on 6 November 2006 with the brief to conduct:

"discussions on privacy and personal data protection in the context of the exchange of information for law enforcement purposes as part of a wider reflection between the EU and the U.S. on how best to prevent and fight terrorism and serious transnational crime."

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"In fact the scope would cover "any criminal offence" however minor. There is no guarantee EU citizens will be informed that data and information on them has been transferred to the USA or to which agencies it has been passed or give them the right to correct it. Moreover, the agreement would apply to individual requests and automated mass transfers and allow the USA to give the data to any third state "if permitted under its domestic law".

It would be good to say that the USA must guarantee the same rights to people when personal information is transferred between EU states but this would be meaningless as the Council is about to adopt a Framework Decision which gives individuals few if any protections against misuse and abuse."

The Council of the European Union is about to adopt a: Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (pdf) covering the transfer of personal data and information/intelligence between EU member states. The Council has simply ignored all the criticisms of the measure from the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Article 29 Working Party on data protection and civil society: See: Statewatch's: Observatory on data protection in the EU (link)

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