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Murky Australia data transfer deal a threat to basic rights


27 Oct 2011


Global Europe

"Today's vote on the EU-Australia data transfer agreement could lead to major breaches of fundamental rights in the EU" GUE/NGL MEP Cornelia Ernst said ahead of a European Parliament vote on an international agreement to allow the blanket transfer of data of all Australia-bound flight passengers to the Canberra authorities.

"There is legal uncertainty over whether this is in line with EU data protection legislation in a number of areas - that's why the ECJ should check it first" said Ernst. "The storage period is totally disproportionate and the door has been left open to profiling".

The GUE/NGL group has demanded that the deal be checked by the European Court of Justice for its compliance with the Treaties but that proposal is opposed by big political groups seeking to rush approval for the agreement. Data including credit card details, personal contact details and information on travel partners are to be transferred to the Australian authorities and will be retained for up to 5 and a half years. Data profiling is not forbidden under the agreement.

Having been already approved by Council, today's EP vote risks sanctioning a bad agreement that will remain in force for seven years.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group 


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