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back to article EU privacy watchdog pans passenger data plans

The European Commission's rules for transferring air passengers' details to destination countries are still not entirely justified, according to EU privacy watchdog Peter Hustinx. Hustinx is the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and has published an official opinion calling into question the need to transfer passenger …

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PGS

Finally some common sense from the EU

Title says it all

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Law and Safety

The United States has every right to demand that if you put someone on an airplane bound for the United States, you will have to disclose to the United States the information it requests about that person, if you want that airplane to be allowed to enter United States airspace.

After the events of September 11, 2001, the reason for that should be obvious.

If European authorities wish to risk bringing about a situation in which direct flights from Europe to the United States are no longer possible - instead, people wanting to go to the U.S. would need to go to, say, Newfoundland, and then transfer there - well, it wouldn't hurt the Canadian airport industry to have their bluff called.

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Anonymous Coward

Law and Safety

To my knowledge all the flights involved in 9/11 were all domestic flights, non were international but okay then, can the UK government have the same information on US citizens visiting the UK, on the grounds of looking for possible links to terrorist groups(IRA/Real IRA) or will US citizens start bleeting that it infinges on their constitutional righrs.......

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FAIL

The United States

If the United States doesn't want a particular person on a plane from Europe to the United States, then it should inform the authorities in Europe, who can then ensure that said person does not in fact get on a plane to the United States.

From what I read of 11-09-2001, weren't those responsible already in the United States? Weren't they trained there on how to fly the planes into buildings? How would a list of people on other planes have helped?

On the other hand, I know a few Spanish people. One of them had great problems in the United States, because their profiling system said that he had been on lots and lots of flights all over the world, because it said so in their list. Given that the Spanish people all seem to share about 12 firstnames and a similar number of surnames, it is hardly surprising that their system was confused by just matching names from every single flight that ever takes place. But then to ban him from a flight because too many people called "JOSE" had been in a plane this year ?? !!

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The new Godwin?

"The United States has every right to demand that if you put someone on an airplane bound for the United States, you will have to disclose to the United States the information it requests about that person"

Does the reverse also apply? Will the US provide the EU with same level of detail for each of its citizens that fly to Europe? Would it not be easier for the US authorities to provide the details of people it didn't want coming in, rather than demanding the details of millions of innocent people and having to trawl through them?

"After the events of September 11, 2001, the reason for that should be obvious."

Why? The aircraft involved were on domestic flights. How would the EU providing PNR data have helped?

"If European authorities wish to risk bringing about a situation in which direct flights from Europe to the United States are no longer possible - instead, people wanting to go to the U.S. would need to go to, say, Newfoundland, and then transfer there - well, it wouldn't hurt the Canadian airport industry to have their bluff called."

It wouldn't hurt the Canadian tourist industry if transit passangers found Canada to be a nicer place to visit than its paranoid neighbour to the south?

Mentioning 11/09 is the new Mentioning Hitler. What do we call this new Godwin Law?

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Anonymous Coward

Better Idea:

Just don't go to the United States at all. What could you possibly need to go there for? Treat the whole country like a wild animal: leave it alone, lock your doors, build a fence to keep it out. Don't feed it, don't interact with it...just let it go about it's day and it probably won't bother you.

That said, keep an eye on it to make sure it isn't nomming any of the local children.

Seriously though...why go where you obviously aren't wanted? If the US is hell-bent on devolving into some flavour of abysmal xenophobia…let them! Just stop doing business with them. If you want to come to North America for a vacation…come to Canada! Stop on by the prairies here, and I’ll roast you up a steak, we’ll have some beers and a grand old time can be had.

I understand the US is one of the largest economies in the world…but so what? China and the EU are rising and the US is declining. Why else do you think that Canada is perusing free-trade talks with the EU? Just ignore the xenophobes and let them have the next seventy years or so as the cultural dark age they both seem to so desperately require.

Maybe a century or two of total isolation and inward focus will actually cause an end to the apathy of the decent, hard-working regular folk who make up the bulk of that country. In this dream future of fantasy and rainbows those same folks might even rise up and deal with the massive overarching corruption rampant in their governments and establish a system of governance that actually represents the will of the people of their nation!

Ah, but to dream…

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@Red Bren

"Mentioning 11/09 is the new Mentioning Hitler. What do we call this new Godwin Law?"

Bush's Folly would get my vote...

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Reciprocity

The Commission is a completely undemocratic appointed body. The European Parliament should take priority as it is directly elected.

Regarding the data transfer, we should insist on the same data for all flights from the US. While we're at it, we should form two queues, one for US passport holders to be fingerprinted and iris scanned and the other to allow people swift travel to reclaim their luggage.

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Joke

America. We want *all* this data because..

Uh..

Because we do.

If you were eating in a restaurant and a child behaved in this way......

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One day, perhaps, European leaders will decide

that it is no longer in their interests to run their countries as satellites to the US government (and the US motion picture and recording industries) and the continual sacrifice of citizens' rights to integrity and privacy will come to an end. A cynic, however, might choose to point out that these leaders are as interested in curtailing citizens' rights as their counterparts in the United States and are singularly adept at hiding behind claims of a need to acquiesce in the demands of the latter to further their own agenda. So the battle must be fought both externally - against US government claims to jurisdiction over the whole world - and internally - against «our» governments' intrusions into our privacy. Kudos to the EDPS for taking some necessary steps in this direction ; let us hope that the European Parliament will block the worst of the European Commission's excesses....

Henri

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Pointless

Anyone wanting to enter any country for organised terrorism has sufficient backing to obtain false documents and to fit under the radar of immigration through normal channels or through illegal landing.

The passing of data is NOT about stopping terrorism. It's about:

A) appearing to the public to be doing something

B) capturing less dangerous suspected criminals

C) stopping "undesirables" e.g. people with known controversial leanings

C) posturing over "we're the biggest and most powerful"

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FAIL

Why do destination countries need to know:

- Food preferences

- Hotel reservations

- Credit card data including expiry data

- etc

This information can't be checked as I ALWAYS pay CASH - the travel agent uses a credit card with the airline in lieu of my cash; I always use fictitious addresses (I have to as I am on the 'road' continuously); Western airline food always tastes like crap (Far Eastern airlines give you great choices. Usually I buy different carriers for different segments of my flights, rather than round trip.

Just the U.S. trying use up it's empty data banks with useless info and other countries trying to emulate them. So many so-called 'terrorists' have repeatedly proved that the much vaunted U.S. security systems has failed - witness the numerous landings in Maine (their Atlantic route emergency airport) and the Detroit bomber who travelled legally with a pre-approved visa AND two boarding checks AND a warning from his Father.

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