Germany, US to exchange personal data

German and US ministers agreed to make it easier for the automatic exchange of personal data on "suspected people".

Germany, US to exchange personal data
US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Attorney General Michael Mukasey met in Berlin with their German counterparts, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries.

The two sides agreed on the wide-ranging exchange of information, including the fingerprints and DNA of people.

The agreement provides for the transmission of personal data in compliance with respective national legislation in individual cases without formal application.

The automatic exchange of fingerprints and DNA is to take place under a so-called "Hit/No-Hit" process, along the lines of the Pruem Convention agreed by seven European Union nations in 2005.

This allows states limited access to the national fingerprint and DNA databases of other participating states for use in automatic comparison tests.

In the event of a hit, the state in question provides other data, such as name and address, although only after formal application through the courts.

Speaking before the meeting, the German federal commissioner for data protection, Peter Schaar, expressed criticism of the extension of data exchange between Europe and the US.

US data protection legislation covered only US citizens and "expressly not data from abroad," he told national public radio Deutschlandfunk.

The Pruem Convention, also known as Schengen III, came into force in May 2005, following the Madrid train bombings in March the previous year. Apart from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain are signatories.

Agencies
Last Mod: 12 Mart 2008, 11:58
Add Comment