The Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) is a United States government program to access the SWIFT transaction database, revealed by The New York Times in June 2006. Based in Belgium, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) establishes common standards for financial transactions worldwide. The Terrorist Finance Tracking Program is viewed as a tool in the "Global War on Terrorism". It is said to allow additional scrutiny that could prove instrumental in tracking transactions between terrorist cells. Concerns have been raised that this classified program might be a violation of U.S. and European financial privacy laws, because individual search warrants to access financial data were not obtained in advance.
In February 2010, on the basis of these privacy concerns, the European Parliament rejected the conclusion of an agreement allowing US authorities access to European financial transactions data. In May 2010, the Commission started negotiating a new agreement, with the aim of ensuring better data protection safeguards.
The EDPS adopted an opinion on the European Commission's draft agreement in June 2010 in which he called for further data protection improvements. In July 2010, the European Parliament gave its approval to the conclusion of a revised agreement.
A third country is a country which has not adopted a national law for the implementation of Directive 95/46/EC - as opposed to the 27 Member States of the EU and the three European Economic Area (EEA) countries Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Third countries need to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data in order to enable transfers of personal data from the EU and EEA Member States to them.
The Commission has so far recognized Switzerland, Canada, Argentina, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and the US Department of Commerce's Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, as providing adequate protection.
The effect of such a decision is that personal data can flow from the EU and EEA Member States to that third country (within the limit of the material scope as described by each Decision) without any further safeguards.
See also: Q&A on Transfer of personal data
According to Article 2 (f) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, third party shall mean "a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body, other than the data subject, the controller, the processor and the persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or the processor are authorised to process the data."
In the context of the EU institutions and bodies, a third party may be a public authority or private party which temporarily needs to process the personal data of an official. This may be the case, for instance, if an official, who moves to his workplace to start work and who is temporarily entitled to VAT-exemption, buys a car. In that case, the car company, the insurance company, the Ministry of Finance and the authority responsible for the car register would be third parties.
Traffic data are data processed for the purpose of the conveyance of a communication on an electronic communications network.
According to the means of communication used, the data needed to convey the communication will vary, but may typically include contact details, time and location data.
Although such traffic data are to be distinguished from content data, both are quite sensitive as they give insight in confidential communications. These data therefore enjoy special protection in Articles 5 and 6 of the E-privacy Directive 2009/136/EC and Articles 36 and 37 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.
See: Data transfer
Time for Europe's data protection authorities to raise their game. Read the new blog post by Giovanni Buttarelli.
To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions will hold the annual EU Open Day on 28 May 2016. The EDPS stand will be located on the first floor of the European Parliament, so make sure you pass by and check out our fun and interactive activities! More information about EU Open Day and the EDPS stand can be found on the EDPS Events page.
Key Challenges for Privacy in the Digital Age. Read the speech by Giovanni Buttarelli given at Europol - EIPA conference on Privacy in the Digital Age of Encryption and Anonymity Online.
New Regulation boosts the roles of EDPS and Europol. Read the press release.
Spring Conference, Participation and keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Budapest, Hungary
Spring Conference, Participation and speech by Wojciech Wiewiórowski on GDPR – what next? Practical implications for national legislators, DPAs, data controllers, Budapest, Hungary
Wojciech Wiewiórowski visits the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Budapest, Hungary
General Data Protection Regulation and Startups, Speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
AmCham EU’s Plenary Meeting, Keynote speech by Giovanni Buttarelli, Brussels, Belgium
Giovanni Buttarelli presents the EDPS Annual Report 2015 to the LIBE Committee, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Conference, Giovanni Buttarelli gives a keynote speech on EU Data Protection Regulation, Rome, Italy
Cyber 2016: Evolving Threats, Security Developments and Improving Cooperation, Chatham House Cyber Conference, Speech and panel discussion by Wojciech Wiewiórowski on Data Protection, Privacy and National Security, London, UK