Passenger details kept on on file for five years


26 April 2016

Passengers travelling to Europe can now expect their credit card information and travel itinerary to be kept on file for five years after their visit. In the wake of the attacks on Paris and Brussels, European Union (EU) lawmakers have approved a long-debated plan to collect airline passenger information at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. In the hope of tracking people travelling to and from conflict areas that may pose a danger to Europe, the Passenger Name Record (PNR) law would give law enforcement agencies in the 28 nations access to the names, travel dates, itinerary, and credit card details of all air passengers travelling to and from Europe. All information collected by flights entering or leaving the EU will be kept for five years, although six months after the collection the contact details will be masked out. “PNR will be a precious tool for boosting the security of European citizens by helping to detect early the movement of jihadi terrorists that take air transport throughout Europe, but also between Europe and other regions of the world, to prevent them taking action,” France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said recently. Although the law was approved by 461 votes to 179, with nine abstentions, critics said that the law would “infringe upon the privacy of ordinary citizens”, and that it would be costly to maintain.

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