DHS Defends Draft Sharing Agreement
TRAVELERS’ PRIVACY—U.S. & EUOctober 6, 2011
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defending a draft airline passenger data sharing agreement with the EU, saying that such data has prevented terrorist threats, AFP reports. Members of the European Parliament could veto the agreement and have expressed concern that a 15-year data retention period is too long and doubt that the system would prevent terror plots. Testifying in front of a congressional subcommittee, DHS Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan, CIPP, cited three audits that she said prove data had not been abused by authorities and argued that the department's powers are not "disproportionate." Callahan refuted suggestions that only criminal data should be collected, adding, "We don't know who all the bad guys are. We have unknown terrorists out there."