LIBE EP Committee: No PNR data sharing within the EU

By EDRi · May 8, 2013

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Deutsch: [LIBE-Ausschuss des EP gegen EU-weiten Austausch von PNR-Daten |]

The directive obliging airlines to pass personal details of EU
passengers to the authorities of the EU member states was rejected by
the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament (EP) on
24 April 2013.

The proposal was presented in February 2011 as an anti-terrorism measure
to be applied for passengers flying in and out the EU, much the same
with the agreement of the EU with the US, and had in view passenger data
such as name, address, phone number and credit card details. The
supporters of the bill have shown their disappointment. Timothy
Kirkhope, the British conservative MEP and Rapporteur on this dossier,
considered the vote “did not show parliament in a good light” as such an
agreement “would have enabled us to track terrorists, people traffickers
and other serious criminals and it would put in place strong protections
for passenger data.”

The proposal has been strongly criticised because it allows storing of
data by the police for five years and PNR profiling. Civil rights
organisations and even the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
raised a number of issues related to the bill, including privacy
violations, lack or disproportionate control, lack of protection against
discrimination, ambiguity of the text, lack of evidence needed to point
out suspects.

“This disproportionate proposal would have been a grave departure from
the constitutional presumption of innocence. This unacceptable paradigm
shift in security policy would reverse the presumption of innocence, as
well as breaching rulings of constitutional courts in Europe and the
European Court of Human Rights,” said home affairs and civil liberties
spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP who added: “Thankfully, MEPs have
voted to prevent this and to defend the rule of law and fundamental
rights in Europe. This decision must now be respected: the European
Commission must withdraw this wrongheaded proposal.”

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Civil Liberties Committee chair,
proposed the bill to be put to the Parliament’s Conference of Presidents
(EP and political group presidents) for a decision if the draft
directive would go for a vote in the plenary or not.

In a nutshell, the future of the EU PNR directive is unclear.

MEPs vote down air passenger data scheme (24.04.2013)

MEPs reject EU passenger data storage scheme (24.04.2013)

Civil Liberties Committee rejects EU Passenger Name Record proposal

Directive on passenger data: EU internal committee votes against
retention of traveller data (only in German, 24.04.2013)

Timothy Kirkhope press conference

EDRi-gram: Commission’s proposal for PNR Directive fails to impress MEPs