UK Liberty

e-Borduhs

Posted in relates to ordinary people, rule of law, surveillance society by ukliberty on October 29, 2009

The Register:

Government legal officials are still investigating whether aspects of the £1.2bn e-Borders scheme are illegal, a year after concerns were raised by Eurostar.

Lawyers for the cross-channel train operator believe the system will require it to break European data privacy laws. They have been pressing the UK Border Agency to clarify the situation since November last year. At their most recent meeting in September, officials told Eurostar they were still mulling the problem.

“There’s been no progress at all,” said a spokesman for the firm. “They said they were still looking into it.”
The ultimate goal of e-Borders is to centrally log every single traveller in and out of the UK, which will mean obtaining personal details before they travel. The UK Border Agency wants carriers to collect the data abroad on its behalf. Eurostar believes this will mean driving an express train through French and Belgian data legislation, both of which implement the EU data laws.
“We believe, and the legal advice we have had is that it is not legal to export the sort of data required by e-Borders within the EU, and it is only legal to export that data outside of the EU,” the firm’s customer service director told the Home Affairs Select Committee back in June. Even then, Eurostar expressed frustration at the government’s lack of response to the possibility it will be “caught in a position that we are abiding by UK law but breaking EU law”.
“I would feel very uncomfortable if I had waited seven months to respond to a letter from the UK Borders Agency on an e-Borders matter,” Noaro said. …
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