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EU plan to collect, not share, air traveler data is ‘absurd'

Peter Sayer | April 15, 2016
By 2018, anyone flying to or from the EU will have their details logged for five years

Other privacy protections include a ban on processing information that reveals a person's trade union membership; health; sexual life or sexual orientation; race or ethnic origin; political opinions, religion or philosophical beliefs -- so vegans can at least rest assured that their choice of in-flight meal will remain private.

Law enforcers will have to keep an audit trail of how the passenger data is processed, and this will be used in a review of the law's effectiveness two years after it enters force.

Many Members of the European Parliament resisted the PNR directive, with tactics including delaying the final vote. The issue was controversial because parliamentarians had long opposed an agreement obliging airlines to provide U.S. authorities with PNR information for transatlantic flights.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz hailed the new deal as an important tool in the fight against terrorism and called on national governments to begin systematically sharing passenger data.

But EDRi's McNamee called the new legislation a disgrace. "It is shocking that, less than two years after the European Court overturned a Directive on needless storage of data of innocent citizens, the European Union seems hell bent on adopting another Directive which does almost exactly the same thing."

 

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