In recent times, law enforcement authorities increasingly use Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to combat serious crime and terrorism. The information is collected by air carriers for commercial and operational purposes in providing air transportation services.
It includes travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details, the travel agent at which the flight was booked, means of payment used, seat number and baggage information. As the information comes from passengers it is unverified and not necessarily accurate.
At the EU level, the European Commission presented a proposal on the use of PNR data in February 2011 which is still subject to discussions between the co-legislators. In the current absence of EU legislation, a growing number of Member States are establishing national PNR systems on the basis of domestic law.
FRA was requested by the European Commission to provide practical guidance relating to the processing of PNR data for law enforcement purposes to contribute to promote compliance with fundamental rights. As a result, in informal consultation with European Commission services and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and building on FRA’s 2011 opinion on PNR, on 26 February FRA presented 12 fundamental rights considerations to EU Member States technical experts. The considerations are a list of "dos and don'ts" on how to operationalise fundamental rights when establishing national PNR systems. They will be regularly updated based on experience gathered over time.