28 March 2012
call for global agreement on the exchange of passenger data (PNR)
- but there are significant differences to the agreement with the USA
It says that several members of the ICAO are introducing PNR schemes - the USA, which has no data protection for non-US citizens, and Canada and Australia which do have effective data protection laws, see: Article 29 working party: The level of protection ensured in Australia for the transmission of Passenger Name Record data from airlines (pdf). The rationale is that:
"Law enforcement authorities around the world are increasingly requesting requesting access to passenger data... against the threat of terrorism"
The EU wants
to get a "single model" at the global level to combat:
"terrorism, terrorism-related serious crimes with international
A definition of "terrorism-related serious crimes with international implications" are not defined.
But it is interesting to note that it does not extend to "other serious crimes" as in the proposed EU-US agreement on the exchange of PNR data. It also deviates from the EU-US agreement when it comes to privacy and data protection rights. First, it says that passengers should be told "to whom the data is being made available" whereas the USA is unable to name all the federal, state and other agencies who will have access to EU passenger data. Second, it says that there should be "safeguards for limiting the onward transfer of PNR data to other parties other than the primary recipient".
It is important
to note that the Council has adopted a position for negotiation
based on a Commission paper - but the European Parliament and
civil society have little chance to debate or change the position.
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