Passenger name record agreement with USA signed
Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, US Department of Homeland Security,
Ambassador Jan Tombinski, Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU,
and European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström at the signing ceremony
© European Union 2011
The agreement on the exchange of passenger name records (PNR) was adopted by the Council on 13 December and signed by the EU and USA on 14 December. The European Parliament still needs to give its consent to the deal.
PNR data is the information voluntarily provided by passengers and collected by air carriers during the reservation and check-in procedures. It includes information such as name, dates of travel and travel itinerary, ticket information, address and phone numbers, means of payment used, credit card number, travel agent, seat number and baggage information.
The transfer of data serves the purpose of preventing and combating acts of terrorism and serious cross-border crime. The agreement should replace the current agreement which has been applied provisionally since 2007. US authorities will be legally committed to inform the member states and the EU authorities of any relevant intelligence that may emerge from their analyses.
The new agreement includes a robust data protection regime with strong data security and integrity requirements. PNR data may only be kept for a period of ten years for cross-border crime and fifteen years for terrorism. After six months, personally identifiable information in PNR data will be masked out and after five years, PNR data will be moved to a dormant database with additional controls.
Passengers will have the right to access data concerning them and request that they be rectified and erased. They will also be able to seek administrative and legal redress.
Press release (pdf)