2010/02: Air passenger data protection

Air passenger data protection - data transfer from the European Union to the United States

Within the recent history, the world has experienced dramatic events which had a substantial effect on the “struggle” between data protection and security measures. This “struggle” can be clearly seen in the issues of data transfer from the European Union to the United States of America - the “struggle” between the US demands for access to information and the EU data protection compliance obligations. How much of European air passenger personal data should be shared with the US authorities and under which conditions should this take place?

The thesis examines the problem, its background, the key terms and legal instruments. It discusses and analyses the development of “solution” of the problem (a serie of EU-US agreements, ending up with current agreement of 2007), development of the situation afterwards, as well as further steps and proposals, inter alia, the proposed EU system aimed in stronger security measures enforcement. The work concludes by pointing out the unlawfulness of former and current data transfers and sets forth the author’s perspective on how the overarching problem can be resolved.

This thesis was written as a part of Master in Information and Communication Technology Law degree at the University of Oslo fall 2009. Before the LL.M program Olga Mironenko worked as a lawyer for a group of Russian and Austrian aviation companies. In her thesis she tried to combine her professional background within the aviation field and new knowledge and skills she gained while studying at the University of Oslo.

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