Friday, 29 September 2006

Who are you? The US knows the answer if you are on a plane from Europe

European and US officials have been holding last-minute negotiations to renew a deal on the transfer of airline passenger data before it runs out on Saturday.

There have been warnings of chaos if agreement is not reached. Airlines would face massive fines if they flew to the US without supplying the data - and they could be prosecuted under European data protection laws if they did.

It is likely there would be huge queues at US immigration, as officials scrutinised the tickets of arriving passengers for some of the data they can now obtain electronically.
Under a 2004 agreement between the EU and the US, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can access European airline reservation databases and pull out 34 pieces of information about each passenger.

Your history of missing flights
Your frequent flyer miles
Your seat location aboard
Your e-mail address

However, the 2004 agreement was annulled by the European Court of Justice in May, which ruled that officials had failed to give it an appropriate legal basis.

Isn't it time we told America where to stick their demands.