The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has criticised the European Commission's (EC) proposals to force airline carriers to provide member states with personal data on passengers entering or leaving the European Union.
The EC argues that providing information such as home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and bank details from those on Passenger Name Record lists will help the authorities combat serious crime and terrorism.
However, EDPS Peter Hustinx argued that the broad brush system whereby all passengers face having their information passed on to law enforcement agencies is worrying.
"Air passengers' personal data could certainly be necessary for law enforcement purposes in targeted cases, when there is a serious threat supported by concrete indicators," he said.
"It is their use in a systematic and indiscriminate way, with regard to all passengers, which raises specific concerns."
Hustinx also outlined a number of amendments he believes are necessary to the EC's proposal to make the system work, including ensuring no data is held beyond 30 days in an identifiable format, except where further investigation is required.
He also said the number of different types of data to be transferred needs to be reduced and that higher safeguards regarding data protection are also required.
He added that stronger statistics based on convictions that shared data leads are needed to prove the system's worth.
Nevertheless, Hustinx thought the proposals marked an improvement on the first plan the EC outlined in 2007.
Last week, the EDPS outlined advice for EU institutions to help them strike a balance between providing access to documents that contain personal data and keeping this data secure.
Furthermore, on Tuesday the UK government's internet minister Ed Vaizey urged the EC and the US to work together to create a common basis for the legal regulations around privacy on the internet.
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