Passenger Name Record

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General information and background

What is PNR? - 5-minutes-information

Passenger Name Records (so-called PNR-data) will be collected by airlines and stored en masse, in order to increase the "service" for passengers and for promotional or marketing purposes.

Due to great pressure from the United States, the European Union decided in 2007 the transfer of passenger data to the United States of America. And to Canada and Australia, these data are reported. The terms of this agreement are currently being renegotiated (USA-PNR).

U.S. government is forcing european airlines to transmit the data to the Department of Homeland Security. Even in cases in which U.S. soil is never entered.

The justification for the event-free storage of the data of all passengers is - as always - the fight against terrorism.

In addition, the European Commissioner inner Malmström on 02/02/2011 Proposal for a further, additional EU Directive introduced the, after a Europe-wide system for recording and storing the data of all passenger flights in Europe is to be created for the (EU-PNR).

On the effectiveness of this measure, there is no reasonable investigation. In addition, we see great concerns about any treatment and storage of these data, and the great danger of drastic consequences for innocent people.

A concomitant restriction of freedom of travel damages the free development of individuals and their society.

The right to freedom of movement

The existing and planned new PNR measures restrict the free movement of people. That fundamental right has been laid down in article 45 of EU-Charta of fundamental rights.

Just as today some people do not travel more in the U.S. because they are not the U.S. authorities of their data and their fingerprints to entrust so could result in a wide-ranging collection of data on all passengers like restrictions on the freedom of travel.

Mistakes, incorrect data bases, "Precautions" and the oppressive feeling of being in all his travels and movements, including recorded and monitored independently suspected harmful to the people, narrows our freedom and prevent international exchange and important meetings across all boundaries.

We see this as a threat to a free, innovative and lively development of our society and the limitation of the international exchange of thoughts and ideas as well as cross-border projects.


  • An airline passenger data collection is an unacceptable data retention, the retention of a generalized data on all passengers out, without any concrete suspicion against the people there.
  • The benefit of the entire operation is highly doubtful. In any case, there was as yet no evidence and no investigation as to whether and what meaning to combat these crimes can measure. An objective and independent investigation, however, and the evaluation of those results must be the basis for such a far-reaching limitation of fundamental rights.
  • There can be many questionable conclusions about the private life (religion, sexuality, lifestyle habits) for the control of state authorities withdraw.
  • The data can, for doubtful and error-prone profiling can be used. An accompanying dragnet investigation should be used only in individual cases, following decision by the german Federal Constitutional Court.
  • The private data is collected by private airlines, the accuracy of the data is therefore can not to be verified. Threaten misjudgments and assessments, drastic consequences are possible.
  • The privacy standards in the U.S. and other third countries are far below those of the EU. There is no fundamental right to informational self-determination there do not make requests for information to be difficult or impossible (concerning US PNR).
  • The definition of the crime, the defense or prosecution investigator to the passenger data to be able to access, is the rather broad terms to the EU arrest warrant attached the. Including not only crimes of organized crime, child pornography or manslaughter fall as well as computer crime, fraud and counterfeiting and piracy. It was originally intended to go but only to combat terrorism (concerning EU-PNR).
  • A necessary adequate fencing for the processing of the data has been passed is not yet apparent.
  • While it is expected to dispense with the so-called "pull method" in favor of "push" techniques, that is, the data is transmitted only upon request. However, there is concern that a disproportionate amount in legal use is made of this (concerning EU-PNR).


  • 9-10 June 2011: JHA Council (Luxembourg) on EU-Australia-Agreement
  • 14 June 2011: Panel at CFP (Washington DC)
  • 16 June 2011: LIBE Committee: Debate on EU-Australia-Agreement (Brussels)
  • 22/23 June 2011: EP Plenary
  • Mid-June 2011: Opinion by Fundamental Rights Agency
  • August 2011: BXL Shut down / Holiday & Travel season
  • 22 September 2011: informal JHA Council, likely adoption of EU-Australia-Agreement
  • October / November 2011: EP vote on EU-Australia-Agreement
  • 13 December 2011: JHA Council, likely adoption of EU-US PNR agreement
  • 12 January 2012: Presentation of the EP draft report on EU-PNR in the LIBE Committee
  • 25 January 2012: Proposal for new Data Protection Directive » Safe Harbor etc.

Actions / action ideas


For discussion and coordination there ist a PNR-Mailinglist. It is open for everyone, who is interested in this topic.





Official EU-Documents

Proposal of a PNR-Directive

EU-Australia PNR Agreement

More about EU-Australia PNR Agreement

EU-US PNR Agreement

More about EU-US PNR Agreement



Academic Papers




Organizations and Websites for additional information





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Some abbreviations:

  • CoE = Council of the European Union
  • CRS = Computer reservations system
  • DG = Directorate Generale, e.g. Home Affairs
  • DHS = US Department of Homeland Security
  • EC = European Commission
  • ECHR = European Court of Human Rights
  • ECJ = European Court of Justice
  • EP = European Parliament
  • MEP = Member of European Parliament
  • PNR = Passenger Name Record
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