In response to revelations regarding PRISM and related surveillance programs, privacy advocates from the United States, Canada and Europe have issued a consensus statement calling on the European Union to increase data protections.
The EU’s data protection framework has been a model of privacy protection for many countries in the world, including Canada. The EU framework gives citizens vastly more privacy protections than citizens have in the US. The EU is currently reforming its data protection framework and the US is lobbying heavily to see EU privacy protections eroded.
BCCLA Policy Director, Micheal Vonn, who initiated and co-authored the Washington Statement said, “It is very important that Canadians support strong EU data protections. Canadians’ privacy protections follow the EU model, which have become a global standard for privacy. Weakening of the EU standards will make it much more difficult for Canada to maintain strong privacy protections and we will see a race to the bottom on data protection, which now more than ever, is an international issue.”
Gathered in Washington, DC for the conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP), a dozen groups from both sides of the Atlantic joined the “Washington Statement,” including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), European Digital Rights (EDRi), Privacy International, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA).
The group warned policymakers that “Our common future, on both sides of the Atlantic, needs privacy and a strong European law. We call on European policy makers to defend this human right now, as an essential prerequisite for preserving privacy, freedom of thought and of expression in vibrant democracies.”
BCCLA reacts to revelations of Canada-U.S. spy-on-everyone programs
From the Blog
The Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Washington, DC (July 4, 2013)
It’s Secret Spying Scandal Week! (June 13, 2013)