Brussels, 2 February 2011
EU proposal for passenger data to fight serious crime and terrorism
The European Commission presented today a proposal for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive to fight serious crime and terrorism. The proposal obliges air carriers to provide EU Member States with data on passengers entering or departing from the EU, whilst guaranteeing a high level of protection of privacy and personal data.
"This proposal for an EU PNR Directive is an important part of EU security policy. Common EU rules are necessary to fight serious crime such as drugs smuggling and people trafficking as well as terrorism, and to ensure that passengers' privacy is respected and their rights fully protected in all Member States. The proposal requires Member States to anonymise all PNR data that is collected", said Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs.
In this proposal, the Commission lays down common rules for EU Member States to set up national PNR systems.
The Commission proposes:
Passenger Name Record (PNR) data consists of information provided by passengers and collected by carriers during the reservation and booking of the tickets and when checking in on flights.
In practice many law enforcement authorities in Member States already collect PNR data on a case-by-case or on a flight-by-flight basis. The Commission proposal would allow for a more systematic use of the data for all relevant flights, and create a coherent approach across all Member States. This will avoid uneven levels of protection of passengers' personal data, as well as security gaps, increased costs, and legal uncertainty for air carriers and passengers.
Processing of PNR data under the proposal will be in line with the data protection rules laid down in the Framework Decision on Data Protection from 2008, and will therefore ensure a high level of protection of personal data.
The United States, Canada and Australia currently oblige EU air carriers to make PNR data available for all persons who fly to and from these countries. The experience of those countries, and of the EU Member States that use PNR data, confirms that PNR data are necessary to fight serious crime and terrorism.
This proposal replaces the Commission's proposal for a Framework Decision on the use on PNR data from 2007. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the 2007 proposal needed to be re-tabled under the new Treaty rules.
It is expected to take approximately 2 years to negotiate the proposal in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs:
Homepage of DG Home: