New EU-US interim deal on Passenger Name Record

By EDRi · October 11, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The previous agreement adopted in 2004 on EU-US personal data sharing was
annulled by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in May 2006,
invoking the wrong legal basis. After a series of negotiations between UE
and US a new interim agreement was concluded on 6 October 2006.

The old agreement was kept in force by the Court decision until 30
September. This explains the rush of the EU and US officials in agreeing on
a new decision. From the privacy point of view, the new agreement is worse
than the previous act.

According with the new deal, 34 types of passenger data – including names,
telephone numbers, addresses, credit card information, bank account numbers,
email addresses, type of meals served on board and other details of their
reservation for US – will be send to the US authorities.

The agreement foresees that the US officials will not “pull” the information
from airlines computers, but the data will be “pushed”, so the data will be
much more easily accessible. The data should be sent by the airlines to the
US authorities databases within 15 minutes after of a plane takes off from
an EU country to US. It appears that the new “push” system would be tested
before the end of the year.

Following the pressure from the US authorities, the PNR data will be
available also to several US counter-terrorism agencies, if they have
“comparable standards of data protection ” with EU as the Commissioner
Frattini underlined. The carriers who do not provide the right information
are liable for fines up to 5 000 EUR/passenger or even the withdrawal of
the landing rights.

The new deal will be formally approved by the Justice Ministers across EU
that should meet later this week. This agreement will be in force until the
end of July 2007, but new negotiations for a permanent deal will
probably begin in November.

A lot of criticism to the PNR interim deal occurred soon from the civil
rights groups, but also from members of the European Parliament. Cem Ozdemir
(DE-Greens) considered : “It is disturbing that the EU capitulated to US
demands to allow more agencies access the data.”

Sophie In’t Veld (NL, ALDE group), the EP rapporteur on PNR issues, has
planned a public debate on the matter for 11 October during the plenary
session of the Parliament. Ms. Veld has also sent a letter to Commissioner
Frattini asking him to clarify a series of issues of the PNR deal for this

Passenger information row settled (6.10.2006),,-6129789,00.html

EU and US strike deal on air passenger data (6.10.2006)

Passenger data deal for US and EU (6.10.2006)

EU-USA Agreement on PNR : EU put in danger the saftey of European citizens
and residents (only in French, 6.10.2006)

Letter from Sophie In’t Veld to Commissioner Frattini asking a series of
questions on the agreement (10.06.2006)

Transfer of passenger name records (PNR) : the new agreement between
the EU and the USA is an unacceptable infringement of the respect for
human rights and data protection (9.10.06)
English version

French Version

EDRI-gram : EU-US agreement on passenger data transfer annulled (7.06.2006)