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Minister debates Passenger Name Register with EU commissioner

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Prague, March 23 (CTK) – European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King and Czech Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar discussed on Friday the status of the Passenger Name Register (PNR), which the cabinet approved in a bill on personal data processing this week, they have said at a press conference.

The data for the PNR is to be gathered by air carriers during flight bookings.

The EU found agreement on the PNR directive in spring 2016. The data contained in it will enable security corps to track risk passengers more quickly. The EU member states are to implement the regulation by May.

“It is another measure to make the fight against terrorist threats more effective as regards the gathering and use of data concerning air carriers,” Metnar told reporters.

He said the Czech Republic has made a progress in the implementation of the directive as it was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. He said the Interior Ministry was suggesting that it be approved in the first reading accounting for the fact that the EU measure takes effect on May 25. The Czech Republic should avoid possible disputes with the European Commission over a failure in implementing it in time, he added.

King appreciated Metnar’s words and his affirmation that he was working on the legislative changes needed for the PNR’s implementation within the required deadline of nine weeks.

Metnar said King suggested mutual cooperation and information exchange between individual towns within the EU, but also including Britain.

King said they also debated the manner in which Brussels supports member states in an effort to deal with possible threats, such as cyberattacks, radicalisation and terrorism.

King was also introduced to the activities of the Centre Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats, which is part of the Interior Ministry.

Later, King also met Michal Koudelka, the director of the civilian counter-intelligence service (BIS), discussing security situation and associated risks for Europe.

“We have agreed on intensifying the already excellent cooperation of the European intelligence services and the necessity of more education on the joint struggle against terrorism,” Koudelka said after the meeting.

The regulation passed by the cabinet on Wednesday is based in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), new EU rules that are to reinforce the EU citizens’ rights and protect them against abuse of their personal data.

It will impact public institutions, companies and businesses of individuals, who register their employees, members, customers or supporters. It introduces the right to a removal of personal data, its transfer and control of its use. Institutions will have to take measures to secure personal data. In some cases, they will have to nominate warrantors of correct handling of the data.

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