European Parliament rejects Bank Data Transfer to U.S.
The decision yesterday on the so-called "SWIFT-Agreement" was historic, as even the EP's vice-president who was chairing had to admit. MEPs rejected the transfer of bulk data from Belgian bank telecommunication service provider SWIFT to U.S. authorities for its lack of legal and privacy protection by a large majority of 378 to 198 votes. Also take note of the report and the explanatory statement by the civil liberties committee's rapporteur, Dutch liberal Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert - well worth a read. EDRi.org had helped a bit with an FAQ that was distributed to MEPs before the vote.
Next on the EP's privacy agenda:
- The transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) to the United States. Edward Hasbrouck has the links between PNR and SWIFT.
- The public consultation for the planned comprehensive data transfer and data protection framework between the EU and the US for law enforcement purposes. The deadline 12 March - please submit strong statements there!
- The review of the data retention directive (Commission document expected this fall).
- The review of the data protection directive 46/95/EC for the internal market.
- Europol access to other EU databases such as the fingerprints of asylum-seekers.