Sweden falls behind in passenger data sharing

Passenger safety may be at risk due to lack of database
Sweden has so far failed to act on European Union regulations dating back more than 10 years that are designed to improve security and reduce the chances of a terrorist attack, The Local reports.
The 2004 regulations say that EU member states must introduce a digital database to help airlines share passenger lists with police in an automatic transfer of customer data. But under Swedish law, passenger lists have to be faxed to the police or collected from airline offices in person.
“I wouldn’t dare to say that safety is at risk because we don’t have this database, but it would be a very, very useful tool to keep Sweden and other countries in the Schengen area safer,” Patrik Engström, a police officer working for Swedish Border control, tells The Local. “It is good to know or have a reasonable knowledge about who is going to land and if they are wanted anywhere, so we can check passport numbers against watch lists.”
He added: “In theory Sweden has implemented the 2004 EU directive on border control, but we don’t have the necessary corresponding database. So when we request information, we usually have to get paper copies because the data is not available electronically.”
He said the police have held meetings with the Ministry of Justice since the recent change in government. But Sweden’s Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman blamed the police.
“We have the legislation to [set up the database] but the police have chosen not to make it automatic yet,” he said.
The Local
[photo courtesy Gothenburg City Airport/Swedavia]

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