EU-US data sharing deals come up for review amid Prism scandal

EU officials will assess how the US is using European data

A European Union team will arrive in Washington DC on Monday to assess how the U.S. is using data it receives from the E.U.

As part of a scheduled review, experts from the European Commission's home affairs department will conduct an examination of the Passenger Name Record (PNR) deal and the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP).

The European Parliament gave its consent Thursday to the possibility of suspending the two data-sharing deals following allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) bugged E.U. offices in New York and Washington. The NSA's activities have come under the spotlight following revelations about its collection of telecommunications metadata and its Prism program to collect data from a broad range of Internet services.

Parliament's resolution, which was approved by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions, said that the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and E.U. member states should consider "all levers at their disposal" in negotiations with the U.S., including suspending the current PNR and TFTP arrangements.

But on Friday, Commission Home Affairs spokesman Michele Cercone was keen to underline that the two reviews had been planned long before the current spying allegations associated with the Prism data collection system. The PNR deal entered into force on July 1, 2012, he said, and this review was scheduled.

The bilateral agreement allows U.S. authorities to use PNR data collected by airlines about passengers traveling between Europe and the U.S. to target, identify potential terrorists and terrorist weapons and prevent them from entering the country.

A similar scheme for passengers traveling within the E.U. has been proposed, but was sent back by Parliament in June due to concerns about its disproportionate and far-reaching nature.

Next week's review of the TFTP will be the third such report and all the other reports have been carried out in the same way, said Cercone on Friday. The TFTP provides the U.S. Treasury with data stored in Europe on international financial transfers.

Some members of the European Parliament (MEPs) had called for a halt of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, which are also due to start on Monday, but this measure was rejected.

Meanwhile German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht said that the current Safe Harbor Agreement between the E.U. and the U.S. should also be reviewed in light of the Prism scandal.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Tags Government use of ITeuropean commissionsecurityregulationgovernmentprivacyEuropean Parliament

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?