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Data privacy (PNR) - Fundamental rights concerns ignored as hypocritical MEPs endorse EU-Australia PNR deal


18 Oct 2011

The European Parliament civil liberties committee today voted to endorse a proposed EU-Australia agreement on the retention of passenger data (PNR). The Greens have hit out at the vote to endorse the agreement despite the fact that the deal fails to address fundamental rights concerns repeatedly raised by the European Parliament. After the vote, Green home affairs spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht said:

"Today's vote represents a sorry chapter for the protection of EU citizens' private data, as well as gross hypocrisy on the part of Liberal and Socialist MEPs. This EU-Australia PNR agreement includes provisions that are at total odds with fundamental rights guarantees in the EU, whether as regards the period for which data can be retained or safeguards against the use of passenger data for 'profiling'. The concerns raised by the European Parliament have clearly not been addressed, yet MEPs have today voted to disregard the concerns they themselves have repeatedly raised by endorsing this deal.

"Retaining passenger data for 5 ½ years, as provided for under this agreement, is totally disproportionate. On top of this, the definition of how the data can be used is unclear, which could lead to its use for the opprobrious practice of 'profiling', which is totally at odds with fundamental rights as guaranteed in the EU. These concerns have been underlined by various court rulings in EU member states, as well as the European Court of Human Rights. Instead of steamrolling this (and other) PNR agreement through, its conformity with the Charter of Fundamental Rights should be verified by the European judicial system."

Richard More O'Ferrall,

Press and media officer,

Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament

Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 -


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