EU agrees to collect air traveller data: Alfano

The EU’s 28 member states have agreed to collect information on airline passengers as part of anti-terrorism efforts, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said on Friday.

EU agrees to collect air traveller data: Alfano
The move would give EU authorities access to passenger information. Gabriel Buoys/AFP

The agreement, aimed at enabling authorities to trace extremists, was made during a meeting of EU interior ministers.

“We reached an agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR) legislation, which will be finalized on December 15th,” Alfano told Il Messaggero.

The move, which had been blocked for years over concerns about personal privacy, will give EU authorities access to passenger information collected by airlines, including their name, credit cards and travel itinerary for flights within the economic bloc.

The information would be stored for six months, and would remain “accessible”, even if encrypted, for four years, Alfano said.

Border security has come under scrutiny after the November 13th attacks in Paris as well as the pressure from nearly 900,000 refugees and migrants arriving in Europe this year.

Alfano said the data sharing system “is a concrete example of how Europe is gearing up to better control access within Europe and travel to and from the region.”