Czech government approves creation of new police unit for air passenger screening

  • Jan Merička
  • 12.7.2017 17:59

On Monday, 10 July, the Czech government approved the establishment of the National Unit for Processing of Passenger Name Records (PNR), which will analyse data from air carriers' reservation systems with the aim to fight terrorism. The unit was set up following the adoption of the EU Passenger Name Record and will fall under the nationwide unit of the Police of the Czech Republic - National Anti-Organized Crime Center. Its activity should start on 25 May 2018, and by 2021 it should have up to 42 members.

The main objective of the newly established department will be to process personal data of passengers before arriving in or departing from the Czech Republic. The data include passenger names, contact details, travel dates, selected seats, but also luggage or payment details. All information will be stored and shared with other EU countries, but also with the United States, Australia and Canada, to identify potential terrorists or persons involved in organised crime. Thanks to cooperation with other similar units, it will be possible to track down people associated with crime or suspected terrorists up to six months back. Information will also be shared with intelligence services or the Customs Administration. Early data analysis, and above all, cooperation and exchange of information, can contribute to a more effective fight against terrorism and serious crime, as well as preventing them.

About author: Jan Merička

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