Data Sharing on Airline Passengers Between U.S. and Europe Struck Down


The European Court of Justice has struck down a data-sharing agreement between the U.S. and the E.U. regarding airline passengers, on procedural grounds–that the procedure falls outside the stated authority of the Directive on which the E.U. relied in making the deal. (See the clotted language of the decision itself at the end of this article.)

The ACLU is pleased, though their press release elides the fact that the decision reads as more procedural than substantive. In fact, if I'm reading it right, the Court explicitly said it didn't get around to considering the substantive objections because it had already decided on the procedural ones. The data-sharing will remain in effect until the end of September.

The U.S. has insisted that collecting the 34 items of personal info covered by the agreement on transatlatic passengers was a necessary anti-terror measure.

The EU Observer has a detailed article on some of what the decision might mean. It points out that the decision does not bar bilateral data-sharing decisions on the part of individual members of the E.U.

We've written again and again on the matter of collecting passenger data for airline security purposes.