Brussels, Belgium — On Dec. 4, 2015 the European Union agreed on a system for sharing airline passenger information, a key measure in tracking potentially deadly individuals. The “Passenger Name Record Proposal” was first put forth in 2007, the AP reports, but the recent Paris attacks gave its advance extra urgency. According to the AP, EU lawmakers struggled for years, “trying to balance security needs with privacy rights.”
EU interior ministers moved to allow law enforcement agencies access to information formerly known only to the airlines, including names, travel dates, itinerary, credit cards and contact details. This information would be collected from flights by European carriers departing or arriving the EU, and from flights between member nations, and then kept on file for six months, the AP reports.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the system as “indispensable in the fight against terrorism.” Although the EU assembly must still give its formal blessing, it’s seen as a formality, the AP reports.
Passenger data agreements are already in place between the EU and the U.S., Canada and Australia.