The institutions of the European Union are completing a reform of Europe’s Data Protection framework.
Recognising the huge significance of the reform, the European Commission made an unequivocal promise when it launched the process.
As an “absolute red line”, the level of protection of individuals’ data would not fall below existing levels. However, leaks show that this promise is not being kept.
Sixty-seven NGOs from the European Union, North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia have joined forces to ask for a confirmation from European Commisison President Jean-Claude Juncker that the Commission will respect its promise.
“Without leadership from President Juncker, the right to privacy, not just in Europe but around the globe will be undermined”, said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights, the organisation that initiated the letter. “We hope and expect the Commission President wil uphold the integrity and independence of his institution. We expect a short, rapid response to our question.”
In 2012,the European Commission made a proposal, which was amended and accepted by the European Parliament in 2014, to modernise and reform European privacy legislation. This update is urgently needed, due to the challenges of new technology and the need to harmonise the law and ensure its effective enforcement in Europe. Faced with profiling, digitisation of health data and online tracking, every corner of our lives is increasingly being invaded by “big data”. With enough data, businesses and governments can and increasingly do know even more about us than we know about ourselves – about our preferences, our motivations, our health, relationships and our politics. Without credible regulation citizens lose, businesses lose, society loses.
Read the letter here: 20150421_European Data Protection
Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties Association Policy Director, 604-630-9753