Friday, 5 February 2010

Providing EU personal data to US law enforcement authorities - consultation

The European Commission are consulting publicly (see full consultation paper and questions) on the future EU-US international agreement on personal data protection and information sharing for law enforcement purposes.

There are consultation questions on the purpose, scope, reciprocity and data protection implications of the trans-atlantic agreement, including "Should the agreement only cover government-to-government transfers of information? Or should it also be applicable to transatlantic transfers of personal data from private entities to law enforcement authorities?" Accountability is of course another major issue.

See for more background info the report of the High Level Contact Group on information sharing. The future US-EU bilateral agreement was mentioned by the European Data Protection Supervisor and was one of the issues touched on in the Article 29 Working Party's paper on the Future of Privacy.

Given the controversy over the vote in the European Parliament's civil liberties committee regarding the necessity and proportionality of the SWIFT agreement to transfer banking data of EU citizens to the USA, we can probably expect strong responses to this consultation.

UPDATE: I seem to have spotted this before the press release was issued. Here's the press release.

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