Transparency Project

Personal Information Gathered on International Travelers

EFF has filed suit on behalf of a member of the European Parliament demanding that the U.S. government release records about her "risk assessment" score and other information gathered about her during her international travels. The lawsuit came just days after the disclosure that the U.S. and the European Union may soon finalize an agreement authorizing the transatlantic exchange of large amounts of personal data.

During the ongoing and contentious debates between the U.S. and the EU over travelers' records and the privacy rights of EU citizens the U.S. government has repeatedly claimed that any person can obtain her records through a FOIA request. To test those assurances Sophia In 't Veld -- who represents the Netherlands in the European Parliament and serves on the Committee on Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs -- filed FOIA requests with the Homeland Security Justice and State Departments asking for any information about her that is included in the various U.S. programs and systems used to track international travelers. However the agencies have failed to comply with the requests as required by federal law.

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