​​Kirkhope welcomes agreement on key EU counter-terrorism proposal

04-Dec-2015 @ 16:30

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Conservative Home Affairs Spokesman Timothy Kirkhope has welcomed confirmation of the deal between MEPs and national governments on the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive.

PNR is a unique set of data created whenever a reservation is made for a flight, consisting of information on all components of that flight, such as name, address, travel itinerary and seat number.

An EU-wide directive will stop air carriers having to rely on a diverging set of national data collection rules.

It is seen as a vital tool in the fight against terrorism, however Mr Kirkhope, who has led negotiations for the European Parliament for the deal, has been keen to ensure that it is balanced in terms of data protection, and so data will only be held for a maximum of six months.

The Yorkshire and Humber MEP said: "I am very pleased that the Council has accepted my proposals.

"We cannot wait any longer to put this system in place. This is a good agreement that will deliver an effective tool for fighting terrorism and serious crime."

He added: "This has always been a careful balancing act to ensure the system was proportionate to the risk that we face.

"I will now recommend that the Civil Liberties Committee accepts this deal without delay.

"PNR data is looking for patterns of behaviour, not profiling people's background or seeking to extract sensitive information. Its usefulness is not restricted to detecting terrorists and foreign fighters; it has been crucial in the detection of people and drug trafficking, and other serious criminals.

"The choice is not between an EU PNR system and no EU PNR system; it is between an EU PNR system and 28 national PNR systems that will have vastly differing, or absent, standards for protecting passenger data."

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