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In two months the Law on Passenger Control for the Fight against Terrorism and Organised Crime will be in force

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Vicente Moret explains that this regulation will help national security since the information will be very controlled and will have a lot of traceability, in Confilegal

Last week the Senate approved the draft Organic Law on the use of data from the Register of Passenger Names for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crimes. 

Vicente Moret, Andersen's "Of Counsel" and Congressional Attorney, acknowledges that Spain is late in transposing the Directive promoting the registration of passengers (PNR) "we were the only country that had not done anything about it, especially because of the instability of our political situation until a few months ago".

For this expert, linked to the Ministry of the Interior some years ago, "our country was a pioneer in Europe, during the eighties and nineties, in the control of passengers, especially at the level of technology and capabilities to monitor these passenger movements. The European Union has followed our theories that air passenger movements are an important source of information for combating crime".

Moret explains that "we formalised the transposition of the aforementioned directive by an Organic Law that has taken two years to be approved. I think the usefulness of the regulations is clear and will help national security a lot. Just as people travel, unfortunately crime does too, ".

In the opinion of this jurist, "this bill, which has now become law, is full of privacy guarantees, for example, a specific Data Protection Officer (dPO) has been appointed to control implementation from a special unit that is already operational. We are talking about an elite Unit within State security, due to its qualifications. The information is going to be very controlled and will have a lot of traceability".

As for data retention "it will be in the hands of the Administration for five years, although there is a period of anonymisation of the information, which means that this initiative is a very safeguarded regulatory project. Access to the information is very restricted and can only be requested by the Civil Guard, the police, the CNI (National Intelligence Center), the public prosecutor's office and the customs authorities, which also have judicial powers".

The use of this information is limited to the investigation of serious crimes and its implementation from a practical point of view should not generate excessive problems, in a country like ours that already knows what it is to fight terrorism, at all levels "it is about fencing terrorism, drug or human trafficking, it cannot be used for any police investigation, its use is very limited".

On the EU website you can see the measures that member countries have implemented in terms of security. "Jihadist terrorism has created the concept of global security in which it is essential to offer a forceful and homogeneous response to this scourge. On this page we see how countries with the Czech Republic have implemented around forty measures in their fight against international terrorism and development of the directive".

This action by the Administration makes it clear that "the regulation of the law creates its own Data Protection Officer (dPO), there is an article dedicated to the Spanish Data Protection Agency where its competence to carry out the tasks entrusted to it on a privacy level and others that are entrusted to it from the aforementioned Control Unit of the said PNR is indicated", he comments.

The full article can be read in Confilegal.

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