322. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the outcome of discussions at the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Council on 20 November 2015, with regard to the retention of passenger name records and increased border security; if she has concerns regarding the privacy implications of recent proposals around border security and the retention of passenger data; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42547/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): At the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 20 November 2015, the Council reiterated its view on the urgency and the priority in finalising agreement on the proposal for an EU Passenger Named Records (PNR) Directive before the end of 2015. In particular, the Council emphasised that the Directive should include internal EU flights in its scope, provide for a sufficiently long period during which the PNR data can be retained in non-masked-out form and that the Directive should not be limited only to crimes of a transnational nature.
I am satisfied that the Council’s general approach on the PNR proposal, which was established in April 2012 and supported by Ireland, contains a robust set of bespoke safeguards for privacy and data protection in the context of a proportionate framework for providing law enforcement access to PNR data to support the fight against terrorism and serious crime.