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European passenger data file to be adopted

Published on 15/12/2015 09:00 - By

Today, on a passenger ticket there is information such as the passenger’s full name, seat number, flight (itinerary), and method of payment. This data is collected and stored by airlines during booking and check-in, and stored for their own needs in a file called PNR (Passenger Name Record).

To fight against the terrorist threat, a European directive is due to be adopted in early 2016, to consolidate all passenger data from the 28 EU member states onto a single computer database. Until now, the implementation of this directive has been delayed on grounds of personal data protection; however, in view of the recent events, European harmonization has become indispensable.

EU member state police and intelligence services will have access to this information for up to six months after the purchase of the ticket. In addition, the data will be retained for a period of five years.

All airlines flying from, or to, any of the 28 countries of the European Union, will be required to provide this passenger information.

European agreements with the United States, Australia, and Canada concerning the transfer of passenger data were established following the attacks of 11 September 2001.

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