Accessing Refugee Protection and the Digital Border: The Legal Implications of Passenger Name Record Exchanges
Hybrid Joint Seminar: Refugee Law Lab & Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers @Osgoode
March 23, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm ET (Osgoode IKB Room 1002 & Zoom)
Professor Elspeth Guild (Queen Mary University of London’s School of Law)
Professor Didier Bigo (Sciences-Po Paris-CERI)
Professor James Simeon (York University’s School of Public Policy and Administration)
Abstract: An increasing number of states use technological tools to filter information from passenger name records (PNR) to refuse travel for ‘unwanted’ aliens. PNR is collected and created by the private sector, the travel industry, for commercial purposes. The accuracy of this information is only what is necessary for commercial purposes. But when states require access to this data for the purpose of authorizing (or not) travel, people’s lives are placed at risk. The dangers for individuals of this use of their data has been acknowledged by the European Union Court (as regards the EU Canada PNR Agreement and recently the EU PNR Directive). But less attention has been paid to the legal and practical consequences for people in need of international protection. In this session we will examine refugee protection and the challenge of technological tools ’sorting’ PNR data for the purposes of authorizing the cross of borders.