Privacy International and EPIC praised a vote today in the European Parliament today that rejected the transfer of finacial records to the United States under an interim agreement. A resolution to reject the deal passed 378-16, with 31 abstentions. Members of the parliament stated the proposed agreement lacked adequate privacy safeguards, and was a disproportionat response to US concerns about terrorism that also lacked reciprocity.
Simon Davies, Director General of Privacy International in London, said that the vote offered hope that political insitutions could respond effectively to new privacy challanges.
"It has taken several years to gather the political will to stop this massive violation of privacy in Europe. But today is a very good day, a milestone in the long history of privacy campaigning.
Mr. Davies acknowledged the leading role of European Parliament Member and rapporteur Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. In recommending that the proposal negotiated by the European Council be rejected, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert stated, "Council has not been tough enough on data protection."