US wants access to retained traffic data
Unites States has indicated in a recent meeting with the EU Council that it will be interested in accessing the traffic data collected by the European countries according with the recent Directive on Data Retention. Also the US officials expressed concerns over the draft Framework Decision on Data Protection.
During the EU-US informal High Level meeting on Freedom, Security and Justice on 2-3 March 2006, in Vienna, the US officials mentioned in the context of fighting terrorist use of Internet that they were "considering approaching each Member State to ensure that the data collected on the basis of the recently adopted Directive on data retention be accessible to them." The Presidency and the Commission replied that these data were accessible like any other data on the basis of the existing MLA agreements (bilateral as well as EU/US agreement). The Commission would convene an expert meeting on this subject.
During the same meeting the US officials lobbied against the provisions in article 15 of the proposal for a framework decision on the protection of personal data processed in the third pillar. " US side expressed serious concerns about the negative impact that the draft Framework Decision on data protection would have on its bilateral relations with Member States if it was to be adopted in its present form (see in particular Article 15 of the draft). The Presidency indicated that agreements already concluded would not be affected by the new legislation. In addition, Member States were divided on the need for such a provision." Article 15 refers to Transfer to competent authorities in third countries or to international bodies.
The Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters was initiated in October 2005 when a draft version was sent to the Council. Opinions on the draft have been received from the European Data Protection Supervisor, Conference of European Data Protection Authorities and European member countries. A new version of the Decision, still under discussion within the Multidisciplinary group on organised crime (MDG) - Mixed Committee, was published by Statewatch at the end of March 2006.
The conclusions of the G6 of interior ministers of the EU call for a rapid adoption of the framework decision on the sharing of information under the availability principle in police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, i.e. without waiting for the third pillar data protection framework decision. This would constitute a serious unbalance with regard to the processing of personal information under the third pillar. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, commented " in other words state agencies should be allowed to exchange information and "intelligence" without any data protection rights for the individual being in place."
EU Council: Report of the EU-US informal High Level meeting on
Freedom, Security and Justice on 2-3 March 2006 in Vienna (27.03.2006)
Data Protection, EU doc no 6450/1/06, REV 1 (23.03.2006)
EDRI-gram : Draft directive data protection in EU police co-operation
Conclusions of the Meeting of the Interior Ministers of France, Germany,
Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, Heiligendamm (23.03.2006)