|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
May 17, 2004
Secretary Ridge Statement on European Commission Decision
Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on European Commission Decision
The Department of Homeland Security applauds todays announcement from the European Commission that it has issued an adequacy finding for the transfer of airline passenger name record (PNR) data to the Department of Homeland Security. This decision was the result of over a year of negotiations between the United States and the European Commission.
The use of this data is critical in combating and preventing terrorism and serious trans-national criminal activity. The European Commission made its decision based on the fact that this measure not only improves the security of air travel between the United States and Europe, but also adequately protects the privacy of individual air passengers. This is a momentous decision for our international cooperative efforts.
The United States has a long history of protecting personal freedoms. The U.S. and the EU are equally committed to not only improve the safety and security of air passengers but also to protect the privacy of air passengers consistent with both U.S. and European laws. The finding today that privacy is adequately protected under this agreement is important for airlines and air passengers alike."