The European Parliament has just officially approved the sharing of PNR (Passsenger Name Record) data with the US, which will be provided when you board a flight to or from the US and includes the following:
“…names, addresses, credit card and phone numbers, but in some circumstances may also include sensitive data on an individual’s ethnic origin, meal choices, health, political views or sex life”
I imagine that you can add place of birth, parents’ place of birth, mention of whether or not the person is a “US person” in order to prep the IRS to arrest people on landing, etc…
I was shocked to read that the Parliament had passed this bill, but not after seeing how they were bullied into doing so: MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, an opponent of FATCA, also was an opponent of this bill, yet stated the hands of the Parlament were essentially tied:
“…there are very strong reservations against this agreement. However, the US made it very clear that a ‘no’ vote would be answered by suspending visa-free travel to the US,” she said.
Its just like FATCA: Using a massive, blunt, in-your-face threat to get the legislation desired forced through. If we resisted the US all of our banks would lose millions in FATCA fines and nobody would be able to travel to the US. This is of course being instituted officially to weed out terrorists, but we all remember how the FBAR was originally meant to just stop drug smugglers from laundering money, right? I imagine that this could be abused in the future to simply stop the travel of people who are critical of the US government. The most popular comment summarised the story much better than the BBC did in the beginning of the article:
“MEPs agreed by 409 votes to 226 to let the US Department of Homeland Security dominate European politics yet again”.