EU and U.S. Sharing Private Data

“The United States and the European Union are near a deal on letting law enforcement and security agencies obtain private information like credit card transactions and travel histories about people on the other side of the Atlantic, The New York Times reported on Saturday.”

This way there are more chances for more people to steal or compromise personal data. It will also be easier to attack dissidents-those people who disagree with what the government is doing.

Even worse:

“It was unclear when the agreement could be completed, the Times said, citing officials, but the Bush administration wants to resolve the issues before leaving office in January and is hoping for an agreement that would not require congressional approval.”

First of all it is illegal for the President of the U.S. to enter into an agreement with a foreign entity without congressional approval. I know it’s been done by many over the years, but it is illegal.

Secondly, why doesn’t he want Congress to know about this? Is it because he knew there would be an outcry against it?

Some EU officials are concerned about the ramifications of this measure and rightly so. The data could be shared with anyone. The EU response is not reassuring:

“Negotiators are trying to work out minimum privacy rights standards, such as limiting access to information to “authorized individuals with an identified purpose” for seeing it, the Times said.”

That is too vague. We are not told what criteria these authorized individuals would need to meet, nor are we told what qualifies as an identified purpose. Without defining these terms, we are back to the beginning contention-that anyone can get this data.

I don’t feel any safer knowing this agreement is coming to fruition.

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