EU-Canada air passenger data sharing agreement may be illegal according to court advisors


It was designed to prevent terror attacks – sharing of passenger flight data between the European Union and Canada.

Top EU court adviser says EU-Canada air passenger data deal cannot be entered into in its current form. An agreement between the European Union and Canada to share airline passenger data that they say is key to fighting terrorism drew tough scrutiny at an EU court hearing because of privacy concerns.

The dispute over the retention and sharing of passenger name records (PNR) has become a shibboleth in Brussels for the debate over balancing people’s privacy with the need to protect against terrorism.

The agreement with Canada foresees the retention and sharing with Canadian authorities of airline passenger data by carriers operating flights between the EU and Canada.

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) heard arguments for and against the agreement at a six-hour proceeding.

A final ruling is expected soon.