Tuesday 28 March 2023

Stop collecting airline passenger details in a database: privacy watchdog

Photo: tupungato via Depositphotos

The government must immediately stop processing all airline passengers’ details into a massive database, privacy watchdog Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP) said on Tuesday.

‘Travel details of all air passengers are being collected and updated in a database over a period of years and this is not allowed,’ the AP said.

Passenger details – known as Passenger Name Records – are collected ostensibly to combat terrorism and organised crime, but the AP says the government is collecting information from ‘a very large number of people’ who are not part of group the database is aimed at.

The AP warned before the legislation was introduced that it would lead to mass surveillance.

Last June the European Court of Justice said that the way the PNR information was processed should be limited to that which is ‘strictly necessary’. The AP has now again called on justice minister Dilan Yeşilgöz to take action.

The agency said it was giving the minister 14 days to explain what she has done since then and what her plans are. Failure could result in the AP using its powers to halt all processing immediately.

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