A potential law that might spark major concerns of data privacy is being currently being planned by Israeli authorities. It is being reported that lawmakers are drafting a bill that will require airlines to share private information about travelers entering or leaving the country, including the credit card number used to pay for the ticket, their billing address, and where else they might be traveling.
Undoubtedly a proposal that will face immense opposition in the Knesset, the bill which will soon be submitted to the government for approval, claims that its provisions are in line with the standard information collected on passengers in the United States and Europe.
Known to have developed over several years, an anonymous source mentioned to The Times of Israel that the timing of its submission would be linked to the pandemic. As it stands, particular interest to authorities during the pandemic is knowing where travelers were coming from — not just their last immediate port of departure, but every place they visited or had a connection.
According to the still-unreleased legislation, a passenger database will be created to hold a wide array of information on “any person who is landing or will soon land in Israel or is taking off or will soon take off from it.”
This database will not only collect the person’s name, nationality, date of birth, and passport number, but will also obtain files used by airlines called PNRs, or passenger name records. These include a wide array of information regarding passengers, the flight or flights they took, how the tickets were purchased, and travel status, including where they sit, how much luggage they check-in or carry on, and any special requests like meals or other in-flight services. The database will allow authorities to see credit card numbers used to purchase a ticket, as well as a billing address and whether there are other related charges on the card. If a passenger is in a frequent flyer or rewards program, or got an upgrade, or bought a one-way ticket, it will be in the database, and if a number of tickets were purchased together, or someone missed their flight, it will show that too.