US wants to store European travelers' personal data for 15 years

A draft agreement between the United States and European Union would require airlines to submit personal information to the Homeland Security Department about travelers flying between Europe and the United States, writes the Guardian’s Alan Travis. DHS would store that data for 15 years.

The proposed rule has raised the ire of several European leaders, including German and French officials, who feel that the data-sharing requirements would violate privacy rights, Travis writes. The European Parliament has asked for the U.S. to prove that collecting personal information — including names, addressees, phone numbers and credit card information — is necessary to identify potential threats. The EU organization must approve the proposal before it becomes official. U.S. senators called for the EU to pass the measure without weakening any of its provisions, Travis writes.

According to the plan, which you can read here, DHS intends to assuage some of the privacy fears by masking travelers’ identities in the database after six months. In addition, the department would move records to a database of dormant traveler data after five years and would purge information after 15 years, Travis writes.

Adding fuel to the fire, the proposal could open the door to DHS collecting information from airlines about travelers between countries other than the United States, Travis adds.

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Reader comments

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 Kerina Post

Then the US wonders why no Europeans want to come here for tourism...why come and spend money in a place that is going to track you like a suspect or criminal. I travel frequently overseas don't get treated that way upon entry in to other countries. How long before these countries start doing that to Americans?

Tue, May 31, 2011 Earth

“including names, addressees, phone numbers and credit card information” credit card information REALLY? Sounds like a hacker’s paradise. Are people in foreign lands really going to trust a foreign government (to them) to store sufficient information about them to steal their identity and ruin their finances? Would you trust, say, France with that? How about China? Israel? Tit for tat.

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