Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/22/europe_data_exchange/

Europe sets minimum PNR standards

Transfers for terror and serious crime only

By John Oates

Posted in Law, 22nd September 2010 08:20 GMT

The European Commission has set minimum standards under which countries should agree to exchange airline passenger name information with nations outside the EU.

The guidelines will underline new Passenger Name Record agreements with Australia, Canada and the US.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström said PNR deals had proved useful in fighting terrorism and serious transnational crime but raised important issues for the protection of personal data.

At the moment exchange of passenger data is carried out according to individual agreements with each country.

Any future deals should conform to certain general principles:

Data should only be used to fight terrorism and serious transnational crime.

Data should be limited to that useful in fighting those types of crime, and should be clearly specified by the agreement.

Passengers should not be prevented from boarding by automated checks alone.

Any country receiving and storing PNR data must ensure high standards of data protection.

Periods of retention should be limited.

There should be oversight that the agreement is being followed.

There should be reciprocity between countries.

The full statement is here. ®