Proposal EU Parliament to reject PNR transfer

By EDRi · March 11, 2004

The European parliament’s committee on Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights,
Justice and Home Affairs is preparing to vote on a proposal by MEP Johanna
Boogerd-Quaak to reject the draft decision of the EU Commission under
which airline passenger data are transferred to the US Bureau of Customs
and Border Protection.

The proposal calls upon EU Member States to require airlines and travel
agencies to obtain passengers’ consent for the transfer of data and asks
the EU commission to withdraw the draft decision which is the current
‘legal’ basis for the transfer of data.

The proposal calls the draft decision “contradictory, since it fails to
take into account the CAPPS II system (which involves the systematic
assessment of all passengers by means including recourse to private
information services) but at the same time it authorises the use of
personal data for the test stage of the system, despite the withholding of
funding by Congress, which expressed reservations which Parliament can
only share.” The proposal also criticizes the Commission’s decision
because it goes ‘against the principles of proportionality and of data
quality’ and “does not grant all passengers the protection which is
afforded to US citizens.”

If the proposal is adopted the EU Parliament will consult the European
Court of Justice to examine if an international agreement which does not
provide adequate guarantees regarding the protection of a fundamental
right is soundly based.

Motion for a resolution on the draft Commission decision noting the
adequate level of protection provided for personal data contained in the
Passenger Name Records (PNRs) transferred to the US Bureau of Customs and
Border Protection (17.02.2004)