US demands EU violate citizens’ privacy


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

EU-US airline data talks collapse

Talks between the United States and the European Union on sharing confidential 
airline passenger information have broken down, according to the EU.

But officials say there will be no disruption to transatlantic flights.

After 9/11, US authorities demanded that airlines should provide personal 
passenger data for all inbound flights.

But the subsequent US-EU agreement was ruled illegal by the highest European 
court in May of this year. Saturday was the deadline for a new deal.

A European Commission spokesman said that a legal black hole could be created by
the lack of agreement.

"There is no agreement. There is a legal vacuum as of midnight tonight," EU 
Transport Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said on Saturday.


As a result, airlines refusing to provide passenger lists to the US may lose 
landing rights in the country, but those that do risk facing legal action under 
EU member states' data protection legislation.

But Mr Todd told BBC television that attempts to resolve the deadlock would 

"We will be discussing this at the highest political levels to see how we can 
take if forward. There is an imperative to sort it out sooner rather than 
later," he said.

However, US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told Reuters news 
agency that there was "absolutely no basis" to say that discussions had broken 

"We are confident we can move forward to a mutually acceptable agreement," he 

He said he had been assured that European airlines would continue to provide the
required passenger information and said he doubted European governments would 
penalise them for this.

Since 2003, US authorities have requested that airlines provide passengers' 
personal data to American security officials, including credit card information 
and telephone numbers.

A total of 34 pieces of data must be transferred to authorities within 15 
minutes of a flight's departure for the US.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/09/30 22:49:33 GMT


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