European Data Protection Supervisor
European Data Protection Supervisor

European PNR

European PNR

Thursday, 20 December, 2007
20
Dec
2007

European PNR

Opinion on the Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes, OJ C 110, 01.05.2008, p. 1

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued an Opinion on 20 December 2007 onthe proposal of the Commission for a Council Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes. The proposal involves obligations for air carriers to transmit data about all passengers on flights to or from an EU Member State.
 
The Opinion emphasizes the major impact the proposal would have on privacy and data protection rights of air passengers. While acknowledging that the fight against terrorism is a legitimate purpose, the EDPS expresses serious concerns about the necessity and proportionality of the proposal which, in his view, are not sufficiently established in the proposal. In addition, the EDPS takes a critical stance on the lack of clarity in relation to various aspects of the proposal, in particular the applicable legal framework, the identity of the recipients of personal data, and the conditions of transfer of data to third countries.
 
The Opinion focuses on four key issues and draws the following conclusions: 
 
  • legitimacy of the processing: the proposal does not provide for sufficient elements of justification to support and demonstrate the legitimacy of the processing of data;
  • applicable legal framework: a significant lack of legal certainty is noted as regards the regime applicable to the different actors involved in the matter;
  • the identity of data recipients: the draft Decision does not provide for any specification concerning the identity of the recipients of personal data collected by airlines companies;
  • transfer of data to third countries: it is imperative that conditions of transfer of PNR data to third countries be coherent and subject to a harmonised level of protection. 

Finally,  the EDPS advises not to adopt the draft Decision before the new Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, so that it can follow the co-decision procedure foreseen by the new Treaty and the European Parliament is fully involved.

COM(2007) 654 final of 06.11.2007 PDF icon