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EU-USA SIFT/TFTP AGREEMENT: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) still has substantial criticisms of the Agreement
01 June 2010
EU-USA SIFT/TFTP AGREEMENT: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) still has substantial criticisms of the Agreement: Opinion of the EDPS
(28 June 2010, pdf) This runs contrary in many respects to the European Parliament's Draft Resolution
(pdf) to be discussed an an emergency meeting of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on 5 July before being voted on in the plenary session 6-7 July.
One of the EDPS's concerns is that Europol has been designated as the judicial authority to carry out oversight on which he comments: "It is obvious that Europol is not a judicial authority"
. This proposal involving Europol has also created a problem for the Council of the European Union (the 27 governments) who have suddenly realised that: "The TFTP agreement will place a new task to Europol, in addition to those tasks provided for in the Europol Decision"
. And if this constitutes an amendment to the Europol Decision that if would trigger the "Lisbonisation" of the Decision under Article 10.2 of Protocol No 36. As the Council does not want to hold up the agreement by amending the Europol Decision it simply concludes that it "will not constitute an amendment to the Europol Decision"
and therefore "no Lisbonising of the Europol Decision."
See: EU doc no 11330/10: Explanatory note the Europol mechanism under the draft TFTP mechanism
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor comments: "Any rational person would conclude that it is clearly an amendment to the Europol Decision and that Lisbonisation is required however inconvenient that might be. By involving Europol in the role of judicial authority there is also a conflict of interest with other policing responsibilities that it has under the Agreement. It's a daft idea."
See also: EU privacy rules changing US companies
(euobserver, link): "privacy issues arise especially when personal information is "aggregated" and passed on to other companies or when the government taps into the "data warehouses" held by private companies in order to track down criminals or terrorism suspects. A fundamental difference between the EU and the US' approach to data privacy is the question of ownership, law and privacy experts told a group of European journalists in New York last week. In Europe, data protection is granted even after the consumer has passed on the data, while in the US, the company's understanding is that once it has the information, it can do whatever it wants with it."