Thursday, 24 June 2004

Consumer groups call on USA-EU summit to protect air travel data privacy

A coalition of USA and European Union consumer organizations has included a call for greater privacy protection for passenger name record (PNR) data as one of its three key requests to USA and EU leaders at their summit meeting tomorrow, 25 June 2004, at Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland.

The Resolution on Passenger Name Records has been endorsed by a wide range of consumer organizations in addition to its initial sponsor, the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD); more endorsements continue to be collected. The resolution focuses on PNR data transfers from the EU to the USA, but also makes specific recommendations -- most of which would require enactment of a federal travel data privacy law in the USA -- to address the implications for consumer privacy of the CAPPS-II and US-VISIT programs and proposed ICAO travel document and biometric identification standards.

TACD leaders had expected to present their recommendations to government leaders during the summit, but instead have sent them in writing. According to an announcement today on the TACD Web site:

TACD leaders decided to boycott the 2004 EU-U.S.Summit on learning that business representatives (TABD) were invited to present their recommendations directly to the Presidents of the U.S., EU and European Commission, but consumers' groups were denied a similar meeting. Parity is a cornerstone of participation in the Transatlantic Economic Partnership and TACD objected to this unprecedented denial of equal access. The governments violated their own written policies, which call for equal access for the transatlantic Business and Consumer Dialogues that feed recommendations into EU-U.S. policy-making.

Ironically, business leaders -- such as those who, unlike the consumer representatives, are still being given direct access to the summit participants -- have also been complaining of the impact of some of the measures imposed by the USA in the name of "security". One report on the summit and TACD's exclusion and boycott noted that, "In a recent survey, European companies reveal that doing business with the US has become more difficult since the introduction of increased security measures in customs procedures post September 11."

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 24 June 2004, 11:09 (11:09 AM) | TrackBack (0)
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