The European Parliament's civil liberties committee today voted to reject a proposed EU system to store the private data of airline passengers (PNR), along the lines of a US equivalent. The Greens strongly welcomed the vote, with home affairs and civil liberties spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht stating:
"MEPs have today voted to put the basic rights of citizens and the rule of law first by rejecting the proposed EU passenger data storage (PNR) system. This far-reaching system would have led to the mandatory retention and analysis of passengers' private data, flying in the face of EU principles on privacy and data protection.
"This disproportionate proposal would have been a grave departure from the constitutional presumption of innocence. Travel itineraries, hotel bookings, credit card details and other personal information of passengers would have been stored in police databases for five years. It would have created an automatic dragnet of this data on the basis of risk profiles without concrete suspicion and without a court order. This unacceptable paradigm shift in security policy would reverse the presumption of innocence, as well as breaching rulings of constitutional courts in Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.
"Thankfully, MEPs have voted to prevent this and to defend the rule of law and fundamental rights in Europe. This decision must now be respected: the European Commission must withdraw this wrongheaded proposal."