Minister Grapperhaus: 'Passenger data are important in the fight against terrorism and serious crime'
Airlines will soon have to supply their passenger data to a new national passenger information unit (Pi-NL). The main aim is to prevent and detect terrorism and serious crime. The Pi-NL will be an independent, specialised unit with its own statutory task and authorisations. In addition, a number of bodies, such as the police and the Public Prosecution Service, will be able to obtain information on suspects and their travel data from the Pi-NL. This will be an important tool in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.
Minister Grapperhaus sent his answers to the written questions on this bill to the House of Representatives today. The bill is the result of EU-wide agreements.
The importance of combating terrorism has been carefully weighed up against the privacy interests of passengers. The bill therefore contains a number of guarantees concerning privacy. For example, there is a restriction on how long the data can be kept for; no special personal data, such as religion or ethnic origin, may be processed; and the sharing of data with other countries is subject to stringent conditions. The processing of data by the Pi-NL will be monitored by the Dutch Data Protection Authority.
Quote from the minister:
'If we know more about where and when criminals and terrorists are travelling, we will be able to catch them more quickly. Before submitting this bill, I weighed up the security and privacy concerns carefully. In my view, the Netherlands should get moving on this as quickly as possible, not only because I am convinced that it will make our country more secure, but also because I am convinced that we will handle these data with care and that they will only be used for the purpose for which they are intended: preventing and detecting terrorism and serious crime.'