A joint US-EU deal to allow the Americans to store personal information on transatlantic air passengers for 15 years is illegal, according to the European Commission’s own lawyers.
A confidential report, leaked to a British newspaper, shows the legal opinion that the deal is “not compatible with fundamental rights”.
Under the agreement, officials from the US Department of Homeland Security would have access to the personal data, including credit card details, of British passengers flying into America.
The deal was formed to combat terrorism and serious or organised crime however the EC’s legal service noted that it could be invoked for any offence punishable by maximum jail terms of over 12 months.
They said such a “low maximum penalty” meant a disproportionate number of people could be affected by the deal.
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