The European Union's top court has ruled that an agreement between the EU and Canada on the exchange of airline passenger data needs to be modified in part. The judges found the deal is not in line with fundamental laws.
The European Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that the EU-Canadian accord on the sharing of airline passenger data in parts violated fundamental EU privacy laws.
The ruling came as a blow to governments in Europe that had recently stepped up measures in favor of data retention in the wake of a spate of militant attacks over the past years.
The supporters of the current bilateral agreement had always argued that collecting a host of passenger data was vital to fighting international terrorism and would provide a higher level of safety for both passengers and airline crews.
The passenger name record (PNR) accord was agreed with Canada in 2014. It included collecting names, travel dates, itineraries, ticket and contact details as well as information on travel agents.
The Luxembourg-based court insisted the deal must be redrafted in parts before it could be signed, because it allowed authorities to use the data beyond what was strictly necessary for the prevention and detection of terrorist offences and serious transnational crime.
The European Union also has a PNR agreement with the US as well as an internal one among EU member states that could face challenges in light of Wednesday's European Court of Justice ruling.
hg/tr (Reuters, dpa)