SP : ‘Stop American blackmail on personal data’

12 December 2011

SP : ‘Stop American blackmail on personal data’

SP Member of Parliament Sharon Gesthuizen is becoming increasingly annoyed at the way in which the US government is attempting to persuade the Netherlands to break its own privacy rules. ‘If we don’t do as the US says, they’re threatening to refuse to allow flights from Europe. Pure blackmail. The government here should never agree to this.'

Exchange of passenger data from flights between the United States and Europe has been debated for years. As long as eight years ago the SP was expressing strong criticism regarding the possible handover of personal details. In 2007 consternation was great when it turned out that the American authorities even wanted to be informed about the sex lives of passengers.

Because these negotiations have gone on for years behind closed doors, the Dutch Parliament could only on Thursday for the first time discuss a document in the public domain, one on which decisions will be taken next week in Brussels. In Gesthuizen’s view, it is “a shameful document, from which it appears that after years of negotiation the US has got it way on more or less every point.” She is demanding that Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten take a hard line: “The effectiveness of the transfer of millions of data has still not been demonstrated, despite sustained research. And this agreement contains far too few guarantees for the protection of privacy. On near enough all crimes data are to be collected, these data will be kept for fifteen years, and even sensitive personal data could under some circumstances be held and used. Opstelten must lead the resistance to this American blackmail. We must never agree to this.”

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