Europe without Denmark moves a step closer to sharing of passenger data

European ministers have moved another step closer to allowing air passenger data to be passed on to relevant law enforcement agencies, but not Denmark, who voted no last week to participate.

After years of debate trying to balance security fears with individual privacy rights, the EU has ‘approved the compromise text’ for a system to share airline passenger information.

The decision was sparked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Law enforcement agencies will soon have access to names, travel dates, itineraries, credit card information and contact details of passengers flying in, out and within Europe.

Scheduled and charter flights will be included and all information will be recorded and kept for six months.

Talks on a passenger name record (PNR) agreement date back to 2007 as interior ministers were unable to reach agreement on privacy rights.

It has taken the Paris terror attacks for it to be finally pushed through.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said it is ‘indispensable in the fight against terrorism’.

The EU already has similar passenger data agreements on flights to and from the US, Canada and Australia.

The PNR agreement still has to be formally endorsed at a EU assembly and be voted on by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

It is thought these are just formalities and the regulations could be implemented as quickly as next month.