Europe may profile passengers
The European Union is considering 'U.S. style' airport passenger profiling. Airports could collect information about passengers in several ways, if the plan goes forth as currently projected:
- Personal data such as phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and dietary requirements will be stored for 13 years
- Biometric information on non-EU travelers could be entered in a register
- Passengers may be required to fill in form on the Internet before traveling.
EU officials appear to be arriving at an uneasy consensus in favor of such profiling. It remains to be see how European citizens respond to practices often considered to intrude on citizens' civil rights. The German Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (Work Group on Data) has already announced it will protest German plans to support retaining passenger data: "According to the work group's Ricardo Cristof Remmert-Fontes, "monitoring the travel patterns of individuals" was just as untenable for a free society as the large-scale monitoring of citizens' use of telecommunications."The usefulness and legality of passenger profiling in the United States continues to be debated.