Switzerland’s federal government wants to create a database containing the personal details of air passengers to counter terrorism and crime, reported RTS. However, the project has drawn serious criticism.
After the terrorist attack in the US on 11 September 2001, America’s federal government demanded access to passenger data. Destination, name, passport number, birth date and method of payment are now analysed by the authorities to identified suspicious travellers.
More and more nations, including Switzerland, want to introduce the same system. Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to create a national register and a special team to analyse the data.
The United Nations Security Council is demanding the new measures. And the EU has already passed similar legislation.
Thomas Hurter, a parliamentarian, pilot and member of the UDC/SVP, supports the idea. It’s a law that will help counter terrorism and criminality, he said. It could help complete a picture of someone suspect that could prevent a serious incident.
However, Jorgo Ananiadis, head of the Pirate Party is against the idea. For him it is another instance of increased surveillance in Switzerland to the detriment of basic rights. Other countries have similar but more reasonable systems. At a minimum, the scope of the law must be drastically reduced and gather only the most important data for a short time period, said Ananiadis.
In addition, the head of Aerosuisse, Switzerland’s aviation association, is unhappy with the proposed fines aimed at airlines if they transfer incorrect information.