The European Union has signed bilateral Passenger Name Record (PNR) Agreements with the United States, Canada and Australia. PNR data, which includes the information used by an individual traveler to purchase an airline ticket, is submitted by airlines to the authorities. It can then be used by law enforcement to interdict high risk passengers attempting to board international flights.
While the U.S and other countries have been using PNR data for several years, the concept in Europe has been highly debated in recent years as lawmakers have sought to strike the appropriate balance between maintaining individual privacy while increasing security in light of recent terrorist attacks.
These bilateral agreements hope to strike that balance while strengthening the communication between customs, immigration, national police, and other appropriate law enforcement authorities around the world.
The EU has also signed a bilateral agreement with the US – the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) – regulating the transfer of financial messaging data.
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