The Reform of the Advanced Passenger Information (API) Directive as a New Form of Travel Surveillance

Directive 2004/82/EC (API Directive) regulates the collection and further processing of personal data of air travellers prior to their travel. It is primarily a border control instrument, which however enables the use of travellers data for law enforcement purposes in accordance with their national law. The API Directive has been recently evaluated and the Commission has announced a series of reforms in that respect, enabling the expansion of its scope to other forms of travelling, the collection and further processing of additional categories of personal data and their future interoperability with EU information systems. A Commission proposal is expected in that respect in the second quarter of 2022. This contribution aims to provide a fundamental rights assessment of the expected legislative reform and enquire whether the reform will prescribe an additional form of travel surveillance in addition to the EU PNR Directive and the relationship between the two legal instruments.