Travellers privacy and European Union

By EDRi · August 30, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

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

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)

Agenda ” Travellers privacy and EU” (3.08.2006)

What is Wrong With Europe? PI Report Criticises EU anti-terror policies

(Contribution by Karen Banks – APC and Filip Pospisil – EDRi-Member
Iuridicum Remedium – Czech Republic )