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EU to negotiate new air passenger records agreement with US after ECJ ruling

[JURIST] European Union [official website] diplomats on Thursday agreed to revive an agreement with the United States that compels European airlines to disclose information about passengers flying from Europe to the US. The EU and US first reached such an agreement in 2004, but the European Court of Justice [official website] struck down the agreement [opinion; JURIST report] last month as illegal because the passenger name records deal [BBC Q&A] did not have an appropriate legal basis. The EU Presidency and European Commission [official website] will draft a new agreement containing similar language as the 2004 agreement, but relying on a different legal basis and some negotiators say that the new agreement will be based on security and organized crime laws. The new agreement is expected to be completed by October 1.

The passenger name records deal requires European airlines to reveal the name, address, credit card information, and itinerary details of passengers to US officials within 15 minutes of a flight's departure. Information that could reveal the passenger's religion or ethnicity, such as meal preferences, is deleted from the record before handing the information over to US authorities. The agreement was negotiated to resolve concerns that US requirements that airlines operating flights to the US provide US authorities access to passenger data would conflict with EU data protection legislation. Reuters has more.

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