Monday, 14 June 2004

USA starts negotiations with Switzerland on access to airline passenger data

The USA is beginning discussions with Switzerland with the goal of obtaining Swiss permisison for USA access to airline reservation data collected in Switzerland, according to a report form Agence France-Press quoting a Swiss government aviation official.

Because it is impossible to detemine from airline reservations (PNRs) where the data in them was originally collected, the USA risks a suspension of air service with any country whose laws aren’t complied with in the use or disclosure of PNRs in the USA. In particular, the USA runs that risk if it starts testing CAPPS-II — even with a sample of archived or “historical” PNR data — without complying with the data protection laws of every country where data included in those PNRs might have been collected.

Thus far the USA has gotten the European Commission to agree to an agreement to permit the use of European Union PNR data in CAPPS-II testing (although the purposrted agreement remains subject to a potential legal challenge to be considered this week by the European Parliament, and potential annulment by the European Court of Justice). Canada has been persuaded to amend its national data protection law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, to permit Canadian airline passenger data to be passed to the USA. Other than Switzerland and some other European countries outside the European Union, it’s not clear with which other countries the USA will seek to conclude agreements before resuming CAPPS-II tests with real data on real passengers.

Link | Posted by Edward on Monday, 14 June 2004, 18:01 ( 6:01 PM)
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