A new agreement on the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data to the US authorities was approved by the European Parliament on April 19. The deal, which replaces an earlier, provisional agreement from 2007, sets legal conditions and covers issues such as storage periods, use, data protection safeguards and administrative and judicial redress.
The EU-US passenger mame Record (PNR) agreement was passed with 409 votes in favour, 226 against and 33 abstentions. A significant minority of MEPs voted against the deal due to concerns over data protection safeguards, including rapporteur Sophie in'T Veld (ALDE, NL), who withdrew her name from the report. A proposal to refer the agreement to the European Court of Justice was rejected by MEPs.
Under the new agreement, US authorities will keep PNR data in an active database for up to five years. After the first six months, all information which could be used to identify a passenger would be "depersonalized", meaning that data such as the passenger's name or her/his contact information would be codified.
After the first 5 years, the data will be moved to a "dormant database" for up to 10 years, with stricter access requirements for US officials.