The European Parliament’s Civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee today adopted by a large majority proposals on the unjustified collection and analysis of passenger name records of all air passengers travelling to or from the EU. Commenting after the vote, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Vice-Chair of the Civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee and Green home affairs spokesperson said:
“The shamelessness with which centre-right and some centre-left MEPs disregarded the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice and voted in favour of unjustified mass surveillance of all air passengers is alarming. The ECJ ruled in April 2014 that the EU is not entitled to store personal data without a valid justification. The EU should instead aim for a targeted, proportionate monitoring based on risk and suspicions. The proposals adopted today clearly violate fundamental rights and will therefore once again be submitted to the judges in Luxembourg.
In the meantime, however, today’s vote means that all air passengers travelling to or from the EU will be placed under general suspicion and their personal details scrutinised. Contact details, bank details, travel details and travel preferences, any striking details from the booking: all these details will in future be collated together to draw up an individual profile which will then be compared with risk profiles. This means a fully automatic mass screening with the resulting data being held for five years. If these proposal do not infringe constitutional or Treaty provisions, then civil rights in the EU is meaningless. The only remaining chance to stop these infringements will be the European Parliament’s final plenary vote after negotiations of EU Home Affairs Ministers.”