05 APR 2011
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Parliament is likely to clash with member states over the use of EU air travellers' personal data in the search for suspected terrorists, as the UK is pushing to change a draft bill initially designed for passengers coming from non-EU countries.
Ahead of an interior ministers' meeting in Luxembourg next Monday (11 April), London seems to have convinced some 17 member states to change the scope of a draft EU bill regarding passenger data so that intra-EU flights are also covered.
The current EU commission proposal envisages that so-called Passenger Name Records (PNR) - data given when booking a plane ticket including home address, passport number, credit card details and mobile phone number - should be passed on to national authorities for all travellers departing and arriving in the EU from other countries.
A similar system is already in place for flights to the US, with American authorities requesting all airlines to pass them on the PNR data of their travellers 72 hours prior to departure. The UK is already using the system bilaterally with a number of EU states and wants the EU bill to include intra-EU flights as well, since they make up 75 percent of all European flights.
"People realise the current proposal of the EU commission won't work. If you're going to collect PNR, it doesn't make any sense to do it only for extra-EU flights," one EU diplomat told this website.
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