Tag Archives: EU-US PNR agreement

First Vote in EP on the PNR agreement with the US (on 27 March)

I found a very good summary of the EU-US PNR agreement negotiations stormy history on edri.com.

“The latest chapter in the collection and processing of passenger data to cover all flights arriving in and departing from the US was opened when, in 2011, the European Commission tabled a renegotiated proposal for an air passenger data agreement with the US.

After the attacks of 9/11, the US Government required to access travellers’ personal data contained in the databases of all foreign carriers. In 2006 however, the first agreement was annulled by the European Court of Justice and since then, negotiations around each new proposal (in 2007 and 2011) have been characterised by tense negotiations between and within EU institutions.

Sufficient and adequate protection of personal data of European citizens and the alleged need for such a wide-scale transfer of personal data have become the core of the debate once again.

At the beginning of February 2012, Dutch liberal MEP Sophie In’t Veld urged the European Union to reject the Agreement. Her demand is not altogether surprising, given that nearly all of the demands of the European Parliament in its resolutions adopted in 2010 have been ignored in the proposed Agreement, for instance:

a. The retention period has not been reduced. PNR data will be stored for 15 years (out of which 10 in a “dormant” database) and then will be “fully anonymised” rather than deleted.

b. The European Parliament has asked that PNR data “shall in no circumstances be used for data mining or profiling”. However, these uses have not been excluded in the agreement.

c. The agreement does not provide for sufficient protections and rights for citizens. According to US organisation Friends of Privacy: “Europeans cannot, as the agreement suggests, obtain independent and adequate relief from unlawful actions by the US Executive Branch (USG) by appealing those decisions under the Administrative Procedures Act (the APA).”

Read the whole story HERE.

In the meantime I am wondering what happens with the data of the passengers traveling from the European Union to the US (from ECJs decision in 2006 until a new agreement will be finalized). I tend to believe that the provisions of the old agreement are still used. Nevertheless, I don’t have any information on this matter.

US defends the US-EU PNR agreement: passenger data foiled terror plots

US homeland security officials on Wednesday defended a draft airline passenger information sharing agreement which European MPs could veto over privacy concerns, saying such data had foiled terror plots, writes AFP.

The European Parliament blocked a previous agreement between the United States and the 27-state EU, forcing the two sides to enter into negotiations that culminated with a draft agreement that was leaked online.

Some European lawmakers have said the 15 years that passenger data could be held by the United States is too long and definitions for what constitutes a terror threat or a serious transnational crime are very vague.

But Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer for the US Department of Homeland Security, said three audits had shown information had not been abused and refuted allegations that its powers could be “disproportionate.”

Suggestions from Europe that the United States should “only collect information from the people you need to collect information from, for example the bad guys — the criminals,” were flawed, she told a congressional sub-committee.

“We don’t know who all the bad guys are. We have unknown terrorists out there,” Callahan said in testimony at a hearing on intelligence sharing and terrorist travel.

For some concrete examples of terror plots discovered using passenger data, click HERE.