The surveillance state is increasing. Under new terrorism plans, airlines will be forced to hand over information including names, addresses, credit card details and travel partners to immigration and police authorities. The data includes what a passenger ate for lunch, where they sat, and whether they were flying on to another destination, the Telegraph reports.
These additional pieces of passenger information includes passenger’s phone numbers and how they paid for their ticket. This data could then be handed over to any other EU country in which the plane lands.
Britain already collects data on passengers’ passports, such as name, D.O.B, gender etc., but the new terrorism proposals will mean that at least 19 extra pieces of data will be collated and can be shared across Europe.
The draft directive initially applied only to flights in and out of Europe, however Britain wants the power to include flights within Europe as well, and has proposed an amendment to this opt-in directive.
The coalition has previously attacked Labour for its database/surveillance-esque state, and critics have attacked the Government for “signing up to a diktat that could see details of Britons handed around Europe without proper parliamentary scrutiny.”
Damian Green, the immigration minister, told the Commons that Britain would opt-in to this EU directive, which is not mandatory. Green said: “Opting in to this directive is good to our safety, good for our security and good for our citizens.”
Clearly, knowing what passengers’ had for lunch on their flights will be an enormous help in the “War on Terror”.
Stephen Booth, research director of Open Europe, said: “Despite their tough rhetoric in opposition, Conservative ministers have handed over crime and justice powers to Brussels at an alarming rate.”
Open Europe is an independent think tank that “believes that the EU must have “a looser and more flexible structure, and greater transparency and accountability”.
Passengers’ data will be stored for up to five years. Details will become anonymous after 30 days but certain cleared individuals can read the information for crime/security purposes.
- Theresa May pushes for air passenger data storing to be expanded (guardian.co.uk)
- Air passengers’ lunch details to be stored in terrorism plan (thetruthiswhere.wordpress.com)