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Passenger data (PNR) - Commission proposes system for retaining passenger data based on spurious security grounds


02 Feb 2011


Justice & Home Affairs
Health & Consumers

The European Commission today presented a legislative proposal aimed at setting up an EU system for the use and retention of passenger data (PNR). The Greens have criticised the proposal, which would allow for the gathering and storing of potentially sensitive information. Commenting on the proposal, Green MEP and home affairs expert Jan Philipp Albrecht said:


"This proposal is another blow for fundamental rights in Europe. With the proposal, the Commission wants to set up a system to gather and store potentially sensitive private information based on spurious security grounds. The justification given for collecting all passenger data is that it is in the interests of security, but the Commission has repeatedly failed to deliver evidence to prove this claim.


"The plan to retain passenger data by government authorities for 5 years flies in the face of several decisions by national constitutional courts, as well as by the European Court of Justice. It is grossly disproportionate and would represent the latest instalment in an every increasing volume of unconstitutional surveillance measures.


"The EU-US PNR agreement is already bad enough. It has facilitated the far-reaching retention of EU citizens' private data without respect for EU data protection rules. The last thing we need to do in Europe is to copy this model, which infringes on the civil liberties of EU citizens."
Jan Philipp Albrecht can be reached for further comment at +49-175-1656698
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 -