RealNews

Europe Balks at U.S. Data Demands

The European Parliament on Wednesday said it was illegal for the United States to force European airlines to provide data on arriving passengers and threatened to go to court to block an agreement that calls for the information sharing. The vote came a day after European Union ministers overcame similar privacy concerns and agreed to give their own law enforcement authorities access to more limited passenger data. To combat terrorism, Washington has demanded airlines headed for the United States transmit extensive passenger information — from credit card numbers to meal preferences — within 15 minutes of departure. Noncompliance can be punished with fines of up to $6,000 a passenger and the loss of landing rights. Airlines, caught between having to satisfy U.S. demands and EU privacy law, have been operating under interim arrangements while negotiations were underway. The agreement reached last December is less than Washington initially sought as far as the amount of data that can be collected, who can see it and how long it can be stored. Full Story

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