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European Court Halts Retention, Bulk Transfer of Passenger Data

The top EU Court has struck down an EU-Canada agreement on the processing of airline passenger records. The Passenger Name Record agreement mandated data retention and permitted the bulk transfer of personal data provided by passengers booking a flight. The Court of Justice of the EU explained "the PNR agreement may not be concluded in its current form because several of its provisions are incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU." The data can reveal "a complete travel itinerary, travel habits, relationships existing between two or more individuals, and information on the financial situation of air passengers, their dietary habits or their state of health." The European Digital Rights Initiative praised the outcome. The EU and US have a similar agreement that permits retention of personal data for 15 years. EPIC has criticized overbroad passenger data transfers, and argued the EU-US agreement violates the EU data protection directive.

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