The French EU presidency has defended air passenger data collection as indispensable against terrorism and crime while conceding it must be strictly controlled.
The main questions include how long the data should be kept. Six to ten years was proposed by Paris, along with a suggestion that unauthorised use of the data should be made punishable, and religious apartenance or health condition ought not to be kept on record.
The 27 EU interior ministers debated the Passenger Name Record project, their ears still ringing from a European Parliament resolution against it.
A French official admitted that “a significant number of governments” in Europe object as well.
MEPs said no proof had been offered yet that justifies a massive collection of private information.
They asked: Why not improve the mutual legal assistance between law enforcements authorities instead?