Your personal data under threat

Aside from certain governments’ seeming inability to hold data on their citizens in a secure manner, your personal data could soon become accessible to a whole new range of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that are not even in the EU.

A secret report by experts from six EU nations suggests a new anti-terrorist cooperation which would give the US access to intelligence across the Union. Behind the scenes, it appears US intelligence agencies are aggressively pursuing the goal of being able to sift through European databases held by law enforcement, immigration, financial and other official bodies, without having to inform either the database custodians or the subjects concerned.

How the press saw it:

The report, exposed by Statewatch, is by something called the EU Future Group. It posits a new five-year plan for “European Home Affairs”, which proposes creating an EU/US area of cooperation for “freedom, security and justice” (justice and home affairs). See:
http://www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/eu-futures-jha-report.pdf.

Worryingly, the proposed EU/US cooperation would not just cover terrorism and passenger data. but would include the whole area of justice and home affairs – policing, immigration, sharing database data and biometrics and harmonising laws.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments, “All the evidence from dozens of high-level EU/US meetings on justice and home affairs since 11 September 2001 shows that it is a one-way street, with the EU trying to fend off US demands. When the EU does not cave in, the US simply negotiates bilateral deals with individual member states. A permanent EU/US pact would be disastrous for privacy and civil liberties.”