The European Parliament civil liberties committee today voted to recommend the EP give its consent to a controversial draft EU-US passenger data (PNR) agreement, overturning the recommendation of the EP rapporteur. The Greens hit out at the vote, which ignored the fact that concerns raised by the EP have not been addressed in the current draft agreement. Speaking after the vote, Green home affairs spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht (Germany) stated:
"Today's vote by MEPs on the civil liberties committee to recommend the EP endorse the EU-US PNR deal represents an exercise in hypocrisy. The core fundamental rights concerns, raised by the Parliament and courts across Europe, have not been redressed in this draft agreement. Against this background, MEPs have a duty to defend the fundamental and legal rights of EU citizens and reject the agreement. Instead, a majority of MEPs seems to want to wash their hands of the PNR controversy.
"Problems, such as the lengthy retention periods for passenger data and the use of data for the profiling of individuals are at odds with EU legislation on data protection, as well as fundamental rights on which the EU is based. These concerns, which have been previously highlighted by the Parliament, have been confirmed by independent research and court rulings in EU member states. The EP cannot simply ignore these violations that it itself has raised and we hope MEPs will overturn today's vote when the EP as whole passes its verdict on the agreement in its plenary vote."