Passengers flying to and from Europe will now be forced to submit a long list of personal details, which can be stored for up to five years. The counter-terrorism plan would record data such as meal preferences and how many flights someone has missed.
The directive has been introduced by the European Commission and requires air travelers to fill in 42 separate pieces of information. Some of the fields would not cause too many eyebrows to be raised, such as nationality or frequent flyer information. Others, such as meal preference or the number of one-way tickets bought are slightly more puzzling, the Guardian reports.
The information would be stored for five years and would be given to security personnel upon demand. The European Commission says the move is necessary in order to help combat terrorism and has been championed by interior ministers across the EU. The ministers came to a consensus while they were gathered in Paris, for the ‘Je suis Charlie’ March that introducing the measure was imperative to tackle terrorism concerns.
The ministers issued a joint statement saying there was a “crucial and urgent need to move toward a European passenger name record system,” and immediate progress will be on the agenda when EU interior ministers meet in Riga on Thursday, according to the Guardian special report.
— Terrorism Updates (@terrorism_info) January 28, 2015
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