The personal information of European passengers flying to the US could be retained for 15 years under a new proposal.
Addresses, phone numbers and credit card details face being stored for 15 years under plans being drawn up between the US and the European Union.
Details of millions of travellers from Europe would be kept by the US Department of Homeland Security, which also wants airlines to provide the data up to 96 hours ahead of scheduled flight departures.
Airlines must currently provide passenger name record (PNR) information 72 hours before departure, allowing US Customs to match the data against existing terrorist watch lists and criminal and immigration databases.
Under the EU’s own PNR system for flights in and out of Europe data is only kept for five years. Britain has already effectively “opted-in” to that system.
The 15-year storage limit for the data was proposed in a draft agreement between the US and the EU.
The US Senate passed a resolution last week rebuking the EU over what it claimed was a reluctance to exchange airline passenger data, a process which has been opposed by civil liberties campaigners.
Under the proposed agreement a passenger’s details would be switched to an unused database five years after they travel to America.
But the information could be placed back on the active database at any time over the next 10 years if authorised by senior officials, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Civil liberties campaigners have claimed heightened air travel surveillance systems will leave passengers from the UK and Europe more vulnerable to miscarriages of justice.
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