EU-Canada agreement on passenger names declared illegal: ECJ

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["Several of its provisions are incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU." The court’s decision comes after it annulled in 2015 a EU-US arrangement allowing firms like Facebook and Google to transfer the personal information of European citizens to the United States. *RON*]

Dan Alexe, New Europe, 26 July 2017



The agreement between the European Union and Canada to share airline passenger data that the two sides say is vital to fighting terrorism has been declared invalid today by the EU’s top court, because parts of it are not in line with fundamental EU laws.

The deal which the EU and Canada began negotiating in 2010 would interfere with the right to privacy, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said in a statement.

“The court declares that the agreement envisaged between the European Union and Canada on the transfer of Passenger Name Record data may not be concluded in its current form,” the European Court of Justice said in a statement.

“Several of its provisions are incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU,” the court said.

An adviser to the European Court of Justice said in September that the passenger name record (PNR) agreement with Canada, agreed in 2014, needed to be redrafted before it could be signed because it allowed authorities to use the data beyond what is strictly necessary for the prevention and detection of terrorist offences and serious transnational crime.

The EU also has a PNR agreement with the United States as well as an internal one, both of which could face challenges in light of Wednesday’s ruling.

Passenger name records include names, travel dates, itineraries, ticket and contact details, travel agents and other information.

The court’s decision comes after it annulled in 2015 a EU-US arrangement allowing firms like Facebook and Google to transfer the personal information of European citizens to the United States.

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