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European Union

Anna Fielder's picture

Today, a coalition of civil rights groups, including Privacy International, launched a report and campaign website,, which calls on EU Members of Parliament (MEPs) to protect fundamental rights to privacy in a crucial vote next month. Concerned citizens and consumers are able to contact their MEPs directly via the website.

The story so far: early last year the European Commission published proposed revisions to the Union’s outdated legal framework on data protection. The proposals strengthen existing rights and attempt to ensure that legislation is more effectively enforced.  For the past year however, as previously reported on this blog, the proposals have been systematically eroded in their passage through the various committees of the European Parliament. 


Privacy International, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Media and Communications Studies (CMCS), are pleased to present the study "European Privacy and Human Rights (EPHR) 2010", funded by the European Commission's Special Programme "Fundamental Rights and Citizenship," 2007-2013.

EPHR investigates the European landscape of national privacy/data protection laws and regulations as well as any other laws or recent factual developments with and impact on privacy. The study consists of 33 targeted reports, an overview presenting a comparative legal and policy analysis of main privacy topics and a privacy ranking for all the countries surveyed.

Privacy International has conducted an analysis of the country reports. Our research team has taken additional information from other sources to provide the summary information below for each country, noting the key developments and identifying the state of affairs.


This report is an evaluation of privacy and surveillance laws, policies and practices in the European Union. The 2010 report was updated with the support of the European Commission's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme 2007-2013. Updates to the 2010 report have been provided by Gloria González Fuster at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Maria Grazia Porcedda at the European University Institute and Matteo E. Bonfanti, at the Centre for Media and Communication Studies, Central European University. 

We aim to keep our knowledge of the state of privacy across the world as up-to-date as possible - it is a huge undertaking and we are always keen to gather more local knowledge. If you have some information to share or you spot an error, please drop us a line at If you would like to support this crucial research project, please consider making a donation.  


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