Extra US claim on European passenger data

By EDRi · June 2, 2005

In stead of getting information on European passengers headed for the United States fifteen minutes after take-off, the US now want the information one hour before the plane departs. Michael Chertoff, chief of the Department of Homeland Security announced this on 23 May 2005 during a visit to the European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Under the current passenger name record (PNR) agreement between the EU and the US, the US can pull the information directly from the European airlines reservation systems. A push system in which the airlines send the information themselves still needs to be implemented. Chertoff believes that passengers and airlines will be positive about the new demand, to prevent any further incidents with planes sent back to the EU.

The European Parliament has taken the European Commission to court over the agreement with the US on the transfer of air passenger’s personal data (PNR). The Strasbourg Court is examining whether the Commission, when making the deal, exceeded its powers and acted in breach of EU Data Protection legislation. In an interview with EUPolitix.com EU Commissioner for Justice Frattini said he expects a decision by the Court in September.

During a debate on PNR data in the European Parliament on 9 March 2005 Frattini promised a review on the current PNR agreement between the EU and US within the first year after it came into force. Since the agreement was signed on 28 May 2005 and no review has been published yet, that promise has not been fulfilled. In EUPolitix.com Frattini says: “we are exploring at a technical level, a possible way for an agreed solution in view of reviewing PNR agreement”. Frattini also announces that he wants to wait for a decision by the Court in September, delaying the review for several months.

On 19 May 2005, EU and US officials met during the Policy Dialogue on Border and Transport Security in Brussels. Issued discussed were biometric travel documents, document security, visa policy and passenger name records (PNR). The US want to introduce trusted traveller programs in which selected, pre-screened air passengers can travel freely between the EU and US using biometric identification. The first international pilot, based on iris scanning, will be introduced between the airports of Amsterdam and New York.

Chertoff wants advance air passenger data (24.05.2005)


Chertoff seeks further air deal with EU (23.05.2005)

EUPolitix.com: Interview with EU Commissioner for justice Frattini (31.05.2005)

EDRI-gram, Europarl debate on PNR and data retention (10.03.2005)