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Anna Fielder's picture

We, and other privacy advocates, have criticised the poor provisions of the so-called Safe Harbour agreement, which allows free transfers of personal information from European countries to companies in the United States that have signed up and promise to abide by its Principles.

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Anna Fielder's picture

The European Parliament Committee that deals with civil liberties and justice issues will have a first vote this week on the revised European data protection framework after months and months of deliberations and negotiations over more than 4,000 amendments. The vote is the first on the framework, which will decide the future of privacy and data protection in Europe. The recent revelations surrounding government surveillance involving some of the Internet's biggest companies have highlighted the urgency of an update of Europe's privacy rules.

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Trade has often been a positive driver in encouraging countries to adopt data protection laws, to ensure compliance and ability to conduct business with the European Union and other privacy-respecting partners. However, when free trade agreements are negotiated in secret and influenced by powerful business interests, the result is a severe watering down of existing privacy protections. 

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Today, a coalition of civil rights groups, including Privacy International, launched a report and campaign website, http://nakedcitizens.eu, 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.

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Anna Fielder's picture

Just over a year ago, vitally important reforms to European privacy and data protection laws were proposed. Now these reforms, which will affect the rights of half a billion Europeans, are being watered down in their passage through various European parliamentary committees as MEPs succumb to an unprecedented industry lobbying onslaught.

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Today is Data Privacy Day, which commemorates the 1981 signing of the Coucil of Europe's Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. It is celebrated all over Europe, as well as in Canada and the United States since 2008.

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Anna Fielder's picture

Tuesday’s letter to Google CEO Larry Page, personally signed by 29 European data protection authorities, ordered the corporation (inter alia) to give users greater control over their personal information. The notions of trust and control are emphasised throughout the letter, and Google is urged to "…develop new tools to give users more control over their personal data"  and "collect explicit consent for the combination of data for certain purposes".

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  • Privacy International welcomes the Select Committee Inquiry. We approach the proposed EU Data Protection Framework from the perspective of individual citizens and consumers.
     
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Anna Fielder's picture

On 25th January 2012, the European Commission published a proposal that would comprehensively reform the European data protection legal regime. One aspect of its proposal, a new Regulation (the “Proposed Regulation”),1 would modernise and further harmonise the data protection regime created by the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).

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Anna Fielder's picture

On 25th January 2012, the European Commission published a proposal that would comprehensively reform the European data protection legal regime. One aspect of the proposal, a new Regulation (the “Proposed Regulation”),1 would modernise and further harmonise the data protection regime created by the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).