Until now, passengers flying to the United States had to fill out the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form as a paperless replacement to the I-94 form to be checked against the US watch list and pay a fee in order to enter the United States. This form has basic information on it and, although stored for a period of up to 12 years, did not contain much personal information. A vote in the European Parliament has now changed that policy, leaving EU civil liberties at risk.
The European Parliament has approved the controversial data transfer agreement, the bilateral PNR (passenger name register), with the US which requires European airlines to pass on passenger information, including name, contact details, payment data, itinerary, email and phone numbers to the Department of Homeland Security.
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