Flight data acquisition and internal security

Data protection at the "inclined plane" or rather in free fall? The state of data protection after the 21. Activity report of the federal data protection commissioner – part 1

The data protection commissioner sharply criticizes the transfer of airline passenger data within the EU and to the U.S. The reactions to his rugen give little reason to believe that data protection is a high priority on the part of governments. Demands are not taken into account and they bow to economic prere.

The european court of justice ruled on 30.06.2006, that the transfer of air passenger data by the EU to the U.S. Would be suspended due to the lack of a legal basis for the 30.09.To be completed by 2006 at the latest. Hectic efforts were made to find a corresponding legal basis – if necessary. Even without the EU parliament – to create. Until this agreement was reached, the airlines were operating, as it was euphemistically called, in a "legal vacuum". The negotiated follow-up agreement expires on july 30, 2007. July 2007, the data protection requirements have not yet been taken into account. At least 34 individual data items continue to be transferred instead of the proposed 19 individual data items, and to date – which is far more serious – despite the technical possibility of doing so, there has been no change from the previous pull system to a push system. This means that the U.S. Continues to have access to the total data at the airlines and only ares not to use more than the agreed data.

It will be the task of the german council presidency in the first half of 2007 to negotiate a new and long-term PNR agreement that will adequately take into account data protection and safeguard the rights and freedoms of passengers in the future.

21. Activity report of the federal data protection commissioner

The demands of the german government have so far fallen on deaf ears in the U.S., and it can be amed that economic blackmail (by threatening to revoke landing rights) will continue to work. The data protection authorities are keeping a low profile on the ie of flight data transfer as far as sanctions are concerned. The data protection commissioner of north rhine-westphalia, for example, stated that even in the absence of a legal basis, no sanctions were imposed on the airlines transmitting data. On the one hand, the airlines were "victims of politics", on the other hand, sanctions would also result in competitive disadvantages.

Flight data transmission within the EU

A directive on flight data transmission within the EU was passed rather unnoticed in 2004, and had to be implemented by september 5. September 2006. However, the first draft did not reach cabinet stage, so that german implementation is still pending. The reason for the data transfer is once again the fight against terrorism.

In the fall of 2006, the federal ministry of the interior introduced a draft of the passenger data act, which, according to peter schaar, has considerable shortcomings in terms of data protection. It was proposed to implement the directive by expanding the federal police act, which is welcomed by the federal commissioner for data protection. However, the list of data to be transferred is too long and includes, among others.A. Also a copy of the identity card. Furthermore, the draft also transferred data of those who were previously subject to the schengen transit convention, for which, according to schaar, there is no reason whatsoever. The data is also to be deleted within 24 hours by the federal police, unless they need it to fulfill a legal task incumbent upon them – in view of the broad scope of the federal police’s tasks, this is, according to schaar, unacceptable and not compatible with the principle of clarity of norms.

The transfer of data within the EU and to the U.S. Not only plays a role in the activity report of the data protection commissioner with regard to the transfer of flight data, but the controversial transfer of financial data by SWIFT also illustrates how data protection is further undermined by international interconnections, agreements and cooperation between private and public bodies. Particularly with regard to the transfer of flight data and financial data to the U.S., it also becomes clear what role economic interests play here, which outweigh the protection of airline and bank customers against economic espionage, etc.