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EU Agrees on Stricter Privacy Rules, Sharing Passenger Data

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Companies breaking privacy regulations will be slapped with fines of up to 4 percent of their annual turnover following a European Parliament vote on Friday in Strasbourg, of a tougher data protection law for Europe’s citizens. The vote also included the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR), which will in effect oblige airlines to hand over passenger data to EU countries in order to help authorities fight terrorism and serious transnational crime.

The European Travel Agents and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) welcomed the vote, which will establish clear rules to access data of the EU passengers.

“This is a historic day for Europe. This reform will restore trust in digital services today, thereby reigniting the engine for growth tomorrow,” Viviane Reding, MEP and former vice-president of the European Commission said, adding that “national security and data protection can and must go hand in hand.”

The new rules are aimed at safeguarding privacy while arming authorities with greater powers to take action against companies violating these rights.

“Faced with the transnational nature of the digital revolution and the fight against terror, EU-wide rules are the only solution to our problems,” Reding added.

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