Privacy Standards for Data Transfers: Unlocking the Legality of PNR Data Transfers

The EU has concluded several arrangements with countries on the transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) framed with respect to the international cooperation for the fight against terrorism and serious crimes. Following the CJEU’s ground-breaking Opinion /15, the legality of these arrangements has become the subject of debate, not least because at their core they allow for the transfer of personal data of people on the move without a connection between themselves and their threat to public security of the country into which they seek to enter. This contribution seeks to trace the CJEU case law on intrusive surveillance measures, with particular focus on the legality of border surveillance. It thus discusses the potential precarities of PNR data transfer arrangements, including the most recent one concluded between the UK and the EU.