EU-Canada agreement on PNR referred to the CJEU
Wed 3 Dec 2014, 20:00

On 25 November the European Parliament voted, by 383 votes to 271, in favour of a resolution to refer the EU-Canada agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR) to the European Court of Justice (CJEU). The CJEU will now decide on the compliance of the agreement with EU law, in particular the Charter of Fundamental Rights. As explained in previous EDRi-gram articles, PNR data has become an attractive and invasive source for governments to obtain personal data.

Two MEPs voted againts closed sessions on Safe Harbour
Thu 11 Dec 2014, 19:00

Eu Observer reports that MEP German Cornelia Ernst along with Dutch liberal Sophie In't Veld voted to suspend the so-called in-camera session on Safe Harbour. In-camera sessions are not open to the public. It also means MEPs are under threat of sanctions should they discuss the issue outside the room.

Safe Harbour is enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission and is supposed to ensure US firms follow EU data protection laws when processing the personal data of EU citizens. Last November, the former EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding published 13 recommendations that the Americans needed to implement in order to keep the agreement viable. The commission official, invited to update the MEPs on the negotiations, revealed that Washington has an issue with three of the 13 recommendations.

Uber and Boston city agreement to provide data for better planning decisions
Sat 31 Jan 2015, 00:20

Earlier this month, Uber agreed to provide Boston city officials a wealth of ride data to help them make better planning decisions—but it will go to considerable lengths to ensure that data is not made public. The data, which includes anonymous pick-off and drop-off locations for each Uber ride, contains confidential commercial and financial information that prohibits the city from sharing it publicly, according to Uber’s agreement with the city. While citizens are often entitled access to public records, Uber and the city agreed that the data it provided contains trade secrets, which making it exempt from public disclosure under a a section of Massachusetts Public Records Law.

MEPs vote a resolution on airline passenger bill
Wed 11 Feb 2015, 20:20

Police are a step closer to gaining broad access to the personal details of anyone flying in or out of Europe after EU lawmakers on Wednesday (11 February) agreed to break a deadlock on a stalled EU bill.

Euro-deputies in Strasbourg voted on a resolution with an amendment to reach an agreement on the EU’s passenger name (EU PNR) record bill by the end of the year.

Czech Republic: TTIP agreement negotiations
Mon 2 Mar 2015, 14:17

Although there have been more than seven rounds of negotiations between EU, USA and Canada, the position of the Czech Government is somewhat uncertain. Based on several announcements and notes from government officials, the position seems to be rather positive. However, an official platform for discussion or information campaign has yet to be established. So far the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is responsible for this agenda, issued only a few news announcements informing about achieved results. The ministry only passively seeks for invitation to any debates regarding both agreements.

In this perspective a Czech NGO Iuridicum Remedium joined the European STOP TTIP initiative. Iuridicum Remedium addresses issues of blanket infringements on individual rights in the fields of Social Exclusion; Human Rights and Technologies; and Human Rights and Public Administration.

The Czech Stop TTIP initiative can be found here. Basic information about TTIP agreements can be found here.

France and Italy want to expand the geographical indications protection system
Sat 16 May 2015, 13:20

A small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members this week are negotiating to expand a the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin to protect geographical indications, products like Champagne.

The treaty is administered by WIPO, which keeps the International Register of Appellations of Origin. Under the Lisbon system, once registered in the international register, an appellation of origin grants protection in all member countries, without any need for renewal, for as long as the appellation is protected in the country of origin.

Lisbon members are currently seeking to approve a new act of the agreement, extending the protection granted by the system to geographical indications. They are holding a diplomatic conference within WIPO from 11-21 May (IPW, WIPO, 14 May 2015) to that effect.