Travellers privacy and European Union

30. 8. 2006 | 13:17

The event "Travellers privacy and EU" was organised on 3 August 2006 by Prague based NGO Iuridicum Remedium and it brought together Czech and European stakeholders across the spectrum working on technological developments that affect the movement of people across borders. Speakers came from Data protection agencies within Europe (Italy, Czech Republic, Spain), Czech law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of the Interior, Czech airlines and the company (Logica CMG) that is producing the RFID-chipped Czech passport - which comes into force on 1 September 2006. The day was divided into three sessions: the first on the background of travel documents and biometrics, the Schengen Information System, and the evolution of Schengen II and III systems. The second part focussed in more detail on the mechanics of biometrics and how this is being incorporated into the Czech passport. Even for the most ardent campaigners on this issue it was the first time we had actually seen one and heard from the company that won the tender to produce them. Then a very interesting session on RFID followed focused on the underlying technology and its applications particularly in supermarkets. A case study was presented on the use of RFID by Metro - the biggest German supermarket chain - which was awarded the German Big Brother Award last year. The final session was dedicated to the issue of exchange of passenger data records between European airlines and the US authorities. All of the presentations were interesting and there was a great degree of openness in the discussions between different people. One of the most interesting point appreciated by participants was made by Gus Hosein on the disturbing trend we see in the European Union to take over "bad ideas" (such as data retention, biometric passports, exchange of passenger data) often initiated by the US (possibly after some initial opposition and debate) and make them even worse. The event, organised in an informal and friendly space, having gathered a large number of interested people, was appreciated by everyone and was considered a success. Those interested in obtaining copies of presentations from the seminar can contact organisers at iure (at) iure.org Agenda " Travellers privacy and EU" (3.08.2006) http://marek.greennet.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Main_Page#Travelers_privac... What is Wrong With Europe? PI Report Criticises EU anti-terror policies (14.12.2005) http://www.privacyinternational.org/comparativeterrorpowers (Contribution by Karen Banks - APC and Filip Pospisil - EDRi-Member Iuridicum Remedium - Czech Republic )

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