Personal information about passengers flying on airlines between Europe and the United States will be stored by the US.
The Passenger Name Record, or PNR agreement has been adopted at the European Parliament in what is seen as a controversial move.
Supporters believe it is vital in the fight against terrorism. Detractors counter with concerns over how the data will be used.
“This agreement opens the back door to much wider use of the data for immigration and customs checks but also for public health issues such as fighting communicable diseases and secondly it does not offer adequate legal protection for the EU citizens in case something goes wrong, they cannot defend themselves before US courts,” said Sophie in’t Veld, Dutch Liberal-Democrat MEP.
Protesters also raised questions on who else might have access to the data which along with names, addresses may also include information on an individual’s ethnic origin and political views. German Green MEP, Jan Albrecht voiced his views.
“The agreement is disproportionate! For over 15 years, the data of all passengers to the US will be saved and also analysed and compared with risk profiles. This is too much data processing “ he opined.
The US authorities say they will filter out sensitive data from PNR while the deal says it will be used exclusively to combat terrorism and some trans national crimes.