Can the Commission inform Parliament of these information-sharing agreements, i.e. which EU Member States are concerned, what types of information are shared and under what conditions? A PCSC agreement provides for the reciprocal exchange of biometric and biographical data and all relevant underlying information for law enforcement purposes. Here`s how it works: Parties offer automated access to their fingerprints (and potentially DNA databases) on an impact/non-result basis. Each party can request the database of the other request and, if a match is found, identity and other information about the person through established and informal police channels to the police. Parties may also “spontaneously” share terrorism or criminal information, even without any request being made. This spontaneous or voluntary disclosure may take place on a case-by-case or large-scale basis and can be used for criminal investigations, to prevent a serious threat to public safety and other related purposes. The CSCP contains extensive provisions to ensure that the data is protected from illegal publication and that the data is quickly corrected or erased at the request of the party who owns and holds it. Although other agreements are under way, much remains to be done to conclude bilateral agreements with any VWP country, in accordance with Law 9/11. Some countries have objected to the VWP`s key information exchange requirements due to domestic policy concerns or restrictive data protection legislation. DHS has continued its efforts to find common ground and, although no country has reached the point of total non-compliance, some seem to be moving in this direction. It is therefore essential that DHS – supported by the ministries of state and justice – continue to send a clear message about the need to respect it in a timely manner and clearly signal to VWP participants the cost of reversing it.
The Agreement on the Prevention and Combating Serious Forms of Crime (PCSC) covers a number of agreements between the United States and other countries regarding the exchange of information on criminals. A PCSC agreement provides for the reciprocal exchange of biometric and biographical data and all relevant underlying information for law enforcement purposes. A brief Article in the Washington Post on June 25 indicates that Homeland Security Minister Napolitano and Salvadoran Foreign Minister Martinez have agreed to disclose criminal information about the deportees. The article indicates that the United States has a similar agreement with Mexico. DHS should be commended for this agreement and other innovative information-sharing agreements aimed at combating serious forms of crime, particularly serious forms of transnational crime such as human trafficking and smuggling. As part of the agreement, Belgium and the United States will use the most advanced technologies to exchange law enforcement data, including fingerprints, to better identify known terrorists and criminals in investigations and other law enforcement measures. The agreement allows for the application of specific mechanisms for the exchange of important information to prevent serious threats to public safety and requires measures to ensure the protection and privacy of citizens in both countries. The PCSC contains many provisions relating to the processing, transfer and storage of relevant data, all designed to ensure privacy and data protection. BRUSSELS – Attorney General Eric Holder today, in collaboration with Belgium`s Minister of Justice, signed Stefaan De Clerck, and Interior Minister Annemie Turtelboom, an agreement on the prevention and control of serious forms of crime (PCSC) that will allow the exchange of biometric and biographical data between the United States and Belgium on alleged perpetrators, in order to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts and prosecutions, while protecting the privacy of individuals.