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Europe

Passenger Data Transfer Irks EU Parliament

EU parliamentarians have rejected European Commission plans to provide the United States with passenger data. They fear the information will not be properly safeguarded.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have threatened to take the European Commission to the EU's top court if it does not withdraw its decision to transfer air passenger data to U.S. authorities. They fear there are insufficient guarantees that the data will be protected. Dutch Liberal MEP Johanna Boogerd-Quaak presented the resolution which was approved by MEPs with 229 votes in favor, 202 against and 19 abstentions. "We are not satisfied with the privacy safeguards secured by the commission, and we now expect them to withdraw their decision and come back with better safeguards," Boogerd-Quaak said. "If they do not, parliament has indicated that we are willing to go to the European Court of Justice," she added. Boogerd-Quaak said only 19 categories of data should be relayed to the United States, instead of the current 34, and the three and a half year period for which data can be retained should be shortened. The EU agreed in December to allow the U.S. access to passenger data on transatlantic flights. (EUobserver.com)

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