The European Parliament, the governing body for the European Union (EU), has voted in favour of a Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement with the United States of America.
The new agreement will allow participating countries to access the data of passengers travelling to the US, to be used in fighting international crime and terrorism. The agreement is also said to ensure the legal protection of PNR data for the individual, with data protection safeguards on storage time and use of the data, as well as administrative and judicial remedies. The new agreement replaces a provisional agreement that has been effective since 2007.
European Union home affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said in a statement, ‘I welcome today’s vote of the European Parliament giving its consent to the new Passenger Name Record Agreement with the United States of America. This is an agreement the three EU institutions can be proud of: it provides stronger protection of EU citizens’ right to privacy and more legal certainty for air carriers than the existing EU-US PNR Agreement from 2007. At the same time, it fully meets the security needs of the United States of America and the EU. It will be made anonymous six months after a passengers’ flight. EU citizens will be informed about the use of their data, and will be able to access and request the correction or deletion of their PNR data. The new agreement is a substantial improvement on the existing Agreement from 2007, and I am pleased that the European Parliament has recognised this today.’