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UK Seeks Data Storage Expansion

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TEHRAN, April 13 (ICANA) – Britain is urging the European Union to expand its database of air travels to include the data from all passengers traveling within Europe.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 11:16:15 AM
UK Seeks Data Storage Expansion

Home Secretary Theresa May is to call on European justice and home affairs ministers during their meeting in Luxemburg to change the current arrangements, which require airlines to hand in their passengers' data for flights in and out of Europe to authorities to cover inner Europe travels.

If approved, the plan would force EU member states to monitor and collect Passenger Name Records (PNR) for three times more journeys.

The PNR covers 19 separate items of personal information including home address, passport number, credit card details, mobile phone number and the traveler's journey route.

The proposal has now the backing of 17 EU nations but the European Parliament and the German government are fiercely opposing the expansion of the database, citing civil liberties concerns.

According to May, keeping a wider database on air passengers for at least six years is necessary for anti-terrorism purposes.

Her opponents, however, argue that the plan might lead to random profiling as it requires massive personal information gathering and storage.

London is currently monitoring 90 percent of flights to non-EU countries and vice versa as well as 60 percent of flights heading to or coming from the bloc's member states.

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