US wants to store European travelers' personal data for 15 years

A draft agreement between the United States and European Union would require airlines to submit personal information to the Homeland Security Department about travelers flying between Europe and the United States, writes the Guardian’s Alan Travis. DHS would store that data for 15 years.

The proposed rule has raised the ire of several European leaders, including German and French officials, who feel that the data-sharing requirements would violate privacy rights, Travis writes. The European Parliament has asked for the U.S. to prove that collecting personal information — including names, addressees, phone numbers and credit card information — is necessary to identify potential threats. The EU organization must approve the proposal before it becomes official. U.S. senators called for the EU to pass the measure without weakening any of its provisions, Travis writes.

According to the plan, which you can read here, DHS intends to assuage some of the privacy fears by masking travelers’ identities in the database after six months. In addition, the department would move records to a database of dormant traveler data after five years and would purge information after 15 years, Travis writes.

Adding fuel to the fire, the proposal could open the door to DHS collecting information from airlines about travelers between countries other than the United States, Travis adds.

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