Friday, December 16, 2011

U.S., European Union Officials Ink Long-Awaited Passenger Data Deal

From the article: “U.S. and European Union officials on Wednesday signed an anti-terrorism accord that renews a 2007 agreement to exchange fliers' personal data, despite objections from some EU members who say the deal is excessively invasive despite added data protections. The pact took years to negotiate because of European members' privacy concerns. The data at issue--passenger name records--encompasses an array of information that people register with travel agencies and airlines to book flights, including names, itineraries, phone numbers, payment methods and credit card numbers. The new policy limits the purposes of reviewing the records to detecting, pre-empting and investigating criminal offenses, according to European Union Council officials. They added it contains a "robust data protection regime," including the stipulation that personal information "be masked out"--rendered illegible to most users, after six months. After five years, passenger records will be relocated to a "dormant database" with additional controls. The information, however, will remain accessible to authorities for 15 years for investigations into terrorist activity and 10 years for international crime probes." Read more

European Commission Press Release