Air travel: Brussels to harmonise passenger surveillance
3 February 2011
The EU wants to keep information on passengers on flights within and also to and from union space, reports the Dutch daily Trouw. Arguing that the time has come to unify the national Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems currently maintained by 14 member states, the European Commission aims to follow in the footsteps of the US and Canada which already keep data on travelers, including European citizens.
The European Parliament will be concerned about the massive breach of privacy entailed by the storage and analysis of such information, while supporters of the plan are arguing that it will play a key role in the fight against crime. The issue may also be determined by considerations of self-sufficiency, for the European executive, a situation “in which member states have to rely on third countries to inform them of the presence of terrorists on their territory” should not be allowed to continue.