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European Court of Justice Rules Against Handover of Passenger Details

European airlines have been told they cannot hand over details of passengers flying into the United States to US authorities. Last year EU governments came in for much criticism from privacy and civil liberties lobbyists when it was agreed to approve the data transfers. Under the May 2004 agreement, European airlines had been obliged to give US authorities 34 items of information on passengers flying to the US, including name, address, all forms of payment and contact telephone numbers. However, the European Court of Justice annulled the deal after finding that the UnionÂ’s member states had acted without a proper legal basis when they signed the agreement. The Court said the agreement would stand until September 30, giving the EUÂ’s 25 member states four months to respond.