Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Valerie Kraml


In 2002, the United States ("U.S.") p assed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act ("ATSA"), under the umbrella of the Patriot Act, which required the collection and dissemination of all international airline passengers' private data, such as name, address, credit card, before foreign airlines could pass over land on U.S. territories. Compliance with the ATSA was highly controversial in the European Union ("E.U."), which maintains strong domestic privacy and personal liberty laws. Efforts to bridge the conflict in domestic privacy laws have led to numerous attempts by the U.S. and E.U. to reach an agreement to increase international security within the constraints of their respective privacy laws. This note explores the differences between the U.S. and the E.U. in implementing data privacy laws, and shows that the U.S. balances security over privacy rights while the E.U. takes the opposite approach. This note argues that the fundamental dichotomy between security and privacy needs to be reassessed in order to better develop global security.