The UK is about to sign up to a new European Union strategy that will see the details of millions of British air passengers stored for up to 5 years in a bid to combat terrorism.
At the moment only a passenger’s name, age, date and place of birth are recorded but the EU wants to create a database that will keep details such as how the flight was paid for, credit card details, who the passenger was travelling with, details of any onward flight and even where each passenger sat and what they ate for lunch.
Parliament Immigration Minister Damian Green announced the decision to opt in to the directive in Parliament last week with Bill Cash, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee insisting the UK will be keeping a close eye on the project as it develops in Brussels.
Once the policy is completed and approved, it will allow immigration officials and the police in EU countries to access the passenger information, and should the occasion arise, could also be handed to non EU countries in the help to fight terrorism.
This is where the opposition arises, some believe that the decision to hand over personal details of millions of British travellers has been made a little hastily and we should hold back until it has been decided exactly who will get to see this information.
The plan is also to apply the policy to flights coming in and out of Europe however it has also been suggested that flights within Europe should be included within the strategy too.
Damian Green defended the decision to join saying “Opting in to this directive is good for our safety, good for our security and good for our citizens.”