PNR Data infringes human rights

By EDRi · April 9, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The German Working Group on Data Retention expanded its activities beyond
the data retention issues, by publishing two applications to the European
Court of Justice by the European Parliament contesting the transfer of PNR
data to the US.

The documents explain why the collection of air passenger data in the US
as well as a similar proposal by EU commissioner Franco Frattini are
incompatible with the air travellers’ fundamental rights. First, the blanket
collection of all PNR data violates the basic right to privacy and
protection of our personal data. The finality of the data retained is not
precisely defined; a “blank cheque” is given to the authorities permitting
an unforeseeable use of the data for other purposes. Also, sensitive data
regarding the passengers’ racial and ethnic origin, political attitudes an
religious conviction are not effectively protected from access.

The Working Group on Data Retention also asked Germany’s Federal Government
to quit negotiations on the principally flawed plan to effectuate a blanket
retention of air travellers’ data in Europe.

Patrick Breyer, member of the Working Group, explained the reasoning behind
the actions: “The applications of the European Parliament could basically be
copied to have the European plan annulled in court. The principle of
proportionality prohibits the mass collection of innocent air traveller’s
data after passing border controls. It is disproportionate to collect
everybody’s data just because in rare cases, it could be useful to the
authorities. Border authorities already have access to the data they need.
The new plan is superfluous and can not be put into practise where European
fundamental rights apply. In its decision concerning the mass scanning of
vehicles’ number plates, the German Constitutional Court earlier this month
confirmed that data concerning citizens who are not wanted by the
authorities must be discarded immediately.”

Collection of flight passenger data violates human rights – Complaints
published (31.03.2008),en/

EDRi-gram: EC plans to profile all passengers in and out EU (7.11.2007)

EDRi-gram: Final agreements between EU and USA on PNR and SWIFT (4.07.2007)