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19.04.2012

Evans opposes giving all personal passenger details to the US

Press Release from Plaid MEP Jill Evans

Plaid MEP Jill Evans has protested at today's vote in the European Parliament allowing the transfer of personal information on all airline passengers to the US Department of Homeland Security. 

Ms Evans said that the European Commission had not presented factual evidence to show that this mass transfer of information was necessary to prevent terrorist offences or serious crime.  

Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, the Plaid Cymru President said:

"This decision means that all travellers to the United States will be profiled, their information put into categories and stored for fifteen years. This can include sensitive information such as sexuality, racial origin, religious beliefs, and details about physical and mental health. There are few safeguards in terms of data protection. I do not believe it is necessary to collect and store all of this information on travellers from Wales and elsewhere unless they can show a very good reason for doing so.

"Airlines already transfer basic passenger data to US authorities, but this agreement is far more intrusive. We  have rights to privacy which should be respected.  It is right that information on individuals should be passed on in order to prevent a possible terrorist attack or serious crime, but that does not justify the blanket processing and retention of passenger data. I don't believe that this in in the interests of my constituents and I have supported calls to refer this to the Court of Justice to check whether it is in line with existing laws protecting our rights."