EU calls EU Passenger Name Record 'unreasonable'

The plans to track passenger details is also unjustified, even though it's designed to combat terrorism

Air travel

The EU has called plans to track passenger details of anyone taking a flight in or out of Europe "unreasonable and unjustified."

The EU Passenger Name Record  (EU PNR) would involve personal information being handed over to security officials to help combat crime and terrorism, but the EU says the plans goes against civil liberties.

The data provided to authorities, including Interpol, would include travel dates, ticket information, contact details, means of payment, seat numbers and luggage details. It would be stored for up to five years, although names would be hidden after 30 days, but could be revealed upon request. After five years, the data would be deleted from the system.

Europe's data protection supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli said the EU PNR is not fair for UK's citizens, claiming legislation is overly broad and security forces have not provided any information about why it's necessary.

He described it as a "massive, non-targeted and indiscriminate collection of passengers' personal information" and suggested that other less-intrusive legislation should be considered.

"We encourage the legislators, in assessing the necessity of such a measure, to further explore the effectiveness of new investigative approaches as well as of more selective and less intrusive surveillance measures based on targeted categories of flights, passengers or countries," Buttarelli said.

The EU already has a similar arrangement with the US and Australia, with information provided to authorities about European citizens entering or leaving the countries. However, in the case of the agreement with the US, the data is available for up to 10 years.

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