back to article Slurping air passengers' private details not great for privacy, concede EU data bods

Despite calls for increased monitoring of airline passengers after the Charlie Hebdo murders, EU data protection authorities have repeated that the indiscriminate nature of passenger name record data processing means it is likely to undermine EU citizens' right to privacy. The Article 29 Working Party (WP29), made up of the 28 …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge

    Selective amnesia

    Cazeneuve told MEPs this week that they “must” support an EU-wide PNR programme. He said PNR would allow authorities to track terrorists’ “travel paths”, conveniently forgetting that the Charlie Hebdo attackers didn’t use flights to transport their illegally obtained weapons from Belgium.

    Isn't it amazing how bureaucrats "conveniently forget" certain facts and details when said facts and details don't fit their narrative (or megalomaniacal plans for ultimate power and authority).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Selective amnesia

      Invade Belgium .....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Selective amnesia

        From the other side this time?

  2. Ledswinger Silver badge

    "Isn't it amazing how bureaucrats "conveniently forget" certain facts and details when said facts and details don't fit their narrative"

    Rather than amazing, I'd describe it as business as usual. I was recently reviewing the hoops the Highways Agency jumped through over the switching off and removal of motorway lighting. Even their "managed down" reports quote a c10% increase in KSI accidents (from a data baseline that is actually 25%), but because this is all in the name of the official government religion of climate change, that 10%-25% increase doesn't count. Now, if somebody were to posit increasing the speed limit (if only to the speeds actually observed), then you'd have people bleating that increasing the speed limit would cause more accidents, and that would be enough to block such a move. Hypothetically, of course.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No kidding

    Since it's difficult to get up and leave an airplane flying at 30,000 ft. it is quite prudent to know who is on the plane and where they are headed. Those who find this unreasonable should take the train.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: No kidding

      Since it is difficult to get up and leave a train going at 200mph it is quite prudent to know who is on the train and where they are headed. Those who find this unreasonable should take the car.

      Since it is difficult to get up and leave a car going at 80mph it is quite prudent to know who is in the car and where they are headed. Those who find this unreasonable should walk.

      Since it is difficult to run away from somebody in the same street as you who might mean you harm it is quite prudent to know who is in the street and where they are going. Those who find this unreasonable should stay at home.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: No kidding

      Actually, I think if it's prudent to know who's on the plane, find out before they get on the plane. Not that they will hand out a passenger list to everyone on the plane or anything and the no-fly list is secret...

  4. C. P. Cosgrove

    The only reason I can think of for anybody trying to fly illicit weapons from anywhere in Belgium to anywhere in France is to test airport security.

    You would just put them in the back of the car. It is after all, only 300Km from the centre of Brussels to the centre of Paris and motorway nearly all the way. I cannot remember ever having been stopped on either side of the border even when nipping over a back road to buy some beer.

    C. P. Cosgrove

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >You would just put them in the back of the car

      I think I saw a terrorist instruction video on extremist ITV which suggested you had to put them in barrels of oil and get very nervous when the gendarmes poke in the back of the van.

  5. LDS Silver badge

    What about boats, buses, cars, train, horses?

    EU can be easily entered using very different means. Boats from the Mediterranean Sea, trains and roads from the East... what's the point of gathering flight data only? Moreover people entering via an airport have to go through customs, where those data could be collected directly, if needed.

    It looks they want them just because it's easier to obtain them to show they do something against terrorism, even if is close to useless.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: What about boats, buses, cars, train, horses?

      It's probably worse than useless, given the false positives. I must feature in a number of apparently anomalous visits to Spain where there's a record of my leaving (by air), but no record of my arriving (by train from France), or vice versa. And the data is only of any use for detecting anomalies (most of which will be entirely harmless) or known targets (most of whom know they are targets and won't choose to have their data collected).

      If you spend time in border regions you realise how much informal cross-border traffic there is on foot, on local buses and trains and by car - the economies of those regions depend on it. And even if you go to the trouble of blowing up roads and bridges (as the British government did on Northern Ireland's borders) you make almost zero difference to illicit traffic, though you may well do considerable economic damage to legitimate trade.

      The idea that you can protect yourself behind an arbitrary line on a map, however foolish, does seem to be a popular misconception,

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: What about boats, buses, cars, train, horses?

        Correct. Anybody asked how the weapons used in France reached Belgium? I don't believe they were carried by a passenger in his or her air luggage. They could have come by sea, or by land routes.

        There is a lot of illegal trafficking using sea transports.

        Along the Adriatic Sea there's a lot of illegal activities to move illegal goods across it - drugs, weapons, and so on. Drug dealers recently are using small planes able to land using uncontrolled strips and fly low to avoid radars. Illegal immigrants and goods enter even using standard ferry boat lines, hidden in the many lorries going to and from Turkey, North Africa and East Europe... bribes always help.

        Also, for an organized group with enough financial support should not be difficult to obtain counterfeit documents and enter from countries that raise less alarm. Or are they going to require every airline in the world to handle data about every flight?

        Do governments really believe terrorist can't switch using untracked routes if needed - and if they already don't?

        Maybe politicians are so used to travel by plane only they can't believe someone could use any other kind of transport...

  6. DropBear Silver badge

    Well tell you what, mate...

    ...the day I'm being asked for (home AND office!) telephone numbers and credit card information is the day I stop flying, for good. Simples.

  7. JaitcH

    More security theatre

    I cannot see how my diet choice impinges on security improvement - unless you are looking for dedicated religious adherents. There again, if someone was going for his/her minute of glory would they really be adverse a last meal variation?

    Experienced travellers, as well as Freedom Fighters, are all aware of the tricks to use - telephone numbers can be created on the fly, particularly cell handset numbers. Same for street addresses - whose going to check? And how?

    The rates can be indicative of government/other organisation discounts - great for spotting those spooks travelling incognito. I always pay cash - never by plastic - to my travel agent who pays IATA (for 'plated' travel agents) through bank transfer.

    So, essentially, the system is failed from the get go. Then there is always the 'hidden' city option to really confuse Plod..

  8. Andrew Meredith

    It's the Greenies !!

    You know what, I don't reckon all this has anything to do with Trrrsts at all. It's a cynical plot by the Greens to make air travel so obnoxious, long winded and intrusive that nobody does it any more. Thus saving the planet from being over-run with carbon .. that most deadly of all toxins.

  9. F0rdPrefect

    Am I missing something here?

    I can't remember booking a flight (which I have been doing since the early '70s) where I haven't had to provide nearly all of the data being talked about.

    And I am pretty sure that it was being recorded, at least in the UK, by "the authorities".

    Also, back then, at least in France and Spain the plod took your passport to check, the first night in a hotel.

    So what is the fuss about?

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