May 30, 2006 8:51 AM PDT

Court outlaws EU-U.S. passenger data transfer

A 2004 deal between the European Union and the United States that would allow transfers of passenger data records has been deemed illegal by the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg.

The judgement follows six pleas by the European Parliament around the exchange of the data, called Passenger Name Records (PNR).

The deal was struck two years ago between the European Commission and the United States government despite opposition by the European Parliament. Airlines were forced to release data originally deemed private under European law, or face revocation of landing rights within the United States.

The Luxembourg court has now ruled that the deal goes against European Community law, and has concluded it should therefore be annulled, with exchange of PNR data to cease as of Sept. 30. In the meantime, airlines claim to have invested millions of dollars to make their computer systems suitable for the required transfers.

The so-called "no-fly lists" compiled with such data--complemented by credit card records--have in recent years forced some flights to return to Europe or divert to Canada.

Of the six pleas, the court only reviewed the first, looking mainly at the technical legal grounds on which the European Commission entered into the agreement. This will disappoint many members of the European Parliament, who had hoped the courts would base the verdict on privacy issues.

Now that the agreement has been annulled, the court said other issues are irrelevant. "It is not necessary to consider the other limbs of the first plea or the other pleas relied upon by the Parliament," the court said.

Lars Pasveer of ZDNet Netherlands reported from the Hague.

See more CNET content tagged:
plea, court, agreement, credit card, U.S.

12 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Aren't the Passenger's Manifest....
... the same/similar as/to the "Passenger Name Records (PNR)".... so, what is the big "fuss" by the European Court of Justice and the European Parliament? What if American Authorities had information/knowledge with regards to persons wanting to take over aeroplanes and flying them into the buildings housing the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg and the European Parliament like were the cases of the on 9/11 to the WTC Buildings and the US Pentagon! The old phrase "Experience Teaches Wisdom" should be the guiding light that informs sound judgement under these circumstances.
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well....
... what should this determination be with regards to "The so-called "no-fly lists" compiled with such data--complemented by credit card records"; perhaps,forcing "some flights to return to Europe or divert to Canada.", maybe! under instructions and the watchful eyes of NORAD!

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.norad.mil/about_us/vision.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.norad.mil/about_us/vision.htm</a>
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why don't you get the facts straight before spouting...
...your usual anti-European crap. The information demanded by
the US authorities was considerably more than just a simple list
of names and even worse, was not reciprocal - Europe was asked
to provide privacy invading details about its passengers but the
US administration refused to do the same in return. It was a
complete disgrace that this was agreed to by the European
authorities in the first place and thankfully something is being
done about it.
Posted by No invasion of privacy (52 comments )
Link Flag
Get a clue...
When it comes to the facts in these types of cases, you will be the last to know the "truth".

The EU courts erred on the side of personal freedom.
Is this right? Maybe.
Is this wrong? Maybe. Its important to determine how much of a threat of another terrorist attack may occur.

The sad truth is that while it is important to restrict travel to some, in order to do so impinges on the freedoms of us all.

I for one would love to see the data exchanged on individuals attempting to travel. This way you could stop them before they get on the plane.

Will we see another WTC incident? Probably not.
But its highly probable that we will see another Richard Reid incident, and quite possibly a successful attempt.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
EU-US Passenger Data Transfer
Every Nation is an Independent entity possessing Laws and Freedoms, right or wrong, applicable to its citizens. This known as Democracy.

It is hard to comprehend, in this day and age, how Politicians still cannot see the trees for the bushes. In the current situation that smacks of non-cooperation, North America can and should still protect itself. Just implement a new requirement that is Legal under Canadian and/or American Law thus protecting North America, the United Nations notwithstanding.

For me it is simple;
1. At points of North American Entry have three categories; U. S. Citizens, Canadian Citizens, and Others.
2. Any international traveller denied entry, for whatever reason, must be immediately returned to their point of departure on the delivering carrier, at the Carrier's expense, and additionally be subject to an immediate minimum fine of $25,000 per denied entry. The Europeans, and any other Nation for that matter, can have their Soveregnty or make amendments in the interests of their companies and or citizens.
Posted by alfoley (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Failed Plan
&gt;&gt;1. At points of North American Entry have three categories; U. S. Citizens, Canadian Citizens, and Others.

-How about just US Citizens, and OTHER. The US government is here to protect the US, and when terrorists can enter the country from the North or the South, there is absolutely no reason to classify individuals as anything other than US citizens.

2. Any international traveller denied entry, for whatever reason, must be immediately returned...

-Failed concept. You don't seem to get it. Once the plane has landed, its too late. A terrorist attack doesn't even require that the plane land... just that it get into US airspace.

No, the US should know who is approaching on incoming flights BEFORE those flights reach US airspace. And if a passenger turns out to be on our "no-fly" list, then the plane should NEVER reach US airspace.

Because the EU has the option of sharing passenger manifest data with the US ahead of time, they should also bear the burdon of cost when planes are turned around.

Just who do you think is going to pay to deport people with a terrorism background who land in the US? Why on Earth would you even consider allowing them into US airspace.

This is not about politics. This is not about money, or plans that respect the privacy of other countries. This is about protecting United States Citizens. If other countries don't want to follow our new security policies, then they can just stop sending flights directly to the U.S. ...in the name of keeping our citizens alive!
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
no surprise
It was obvious from the beginning that this was a violation of EU data privacy law.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So What? Turn them all around.
A violation of privacy laws?? So what?!? Look, if a terrorist is going to get on a plane in Europe and fly to the US, then neither myself, nor the rest of the huge majority of Americans want that plane anywhere near our country.

Europe is free to reject the idea of sharing passenger information if they want, but I hope the US plays hardball and just starts rejecting ALL flights from Europe. Perhpas mandatory layovers and plane changes in countries that care about security will help the EU wake up.

You want to send an airplane full of people and baggage into the US? I see no problem demanding a list of who/what is aboard that plane before allowing it to enter US airspace.

Anything less would be negligence on the part of the US government.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Perhaps...
... the United Kingdom as the Head of the British Commonwealth of Nations (which consists of the oil-rich nation of Nigeria and the the emerging Indian sub-continent as an economic super-power) should consider "breaking away" from the European Union principally because the world is now well into the internet age that will easily guarantee the economic and political survival of the United Kingdom (or most nations for that matter with the appropriate information technology in place); in fact, it can charter its own course and leave the rest of the European Union to charter theirs!
This certainly will be an example of an independent nation with an independent and sensible thinking people who might have have "given up quite a lot" when the United Kingdom decided to join the European Union against the will of a large percentage of its people!
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Link Flag
Oh! How "Quickly" Don't Thee Forget...
... the "Pan American" incident. So, here is a reminder for some people who apparently have no respect for the "flocks of sheep" that lost their lives under similar circumstances on 9/11. Thanks CNET NEWS for helping to preserve (the news article) the memories of those whose loss must serve as a reminder of the uncertain world that we live in and people who are given to "judge" must certainly take these circumstances under consideration; or, are they co-conspirators!

Re: "Pan Am site sustains Lockerbie memories"

"Pan American World Airways resurfaced as front-page news on Wednesday when Libya offered billions of dollars in payments for its role in a crash that led to the demise of the historic airline more than a decade ago."

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/2100-1023-928310.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/2100-1023-928310.html</a>
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.