Privacy International defends the right to privacy across the world, and fights surveillance and other intrusions into private life by governments and corporations. Read more »


Stream: Press releases

This is a resource of our latest press releases. To join our press mailing list, please email comms@privacy.org with your contact details. For up-to-the-minute privacy news, follow us on on Twitter @privacyint

Press release

Privacy International (PI) today filed additional complaints with authorities in Japan, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Argentina. On June 27th PI filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in 32 countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of records from SWIFT to US intelligence agencies.(1)

The disclosures involve the mass transfer of data from SWIFT in Europe to the United States, and possibly direct access by US authorities both to data held within Belgium and data residing in SWIFT centres worldwide. Data from throughout the world is involved.

All complaints allege that the activity was undertaken without regard to legal process under privacy and Data Protection law, and that the disclosures were made without any legal basis or authority whatever. The scale of the operation, involving millions of records, places this disclosure in the realm of a fishing exercise rather than legally authorised investigations.

PI has also filed a request under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act to the Bank of England, asking for disclosure of all documents relating to dealings between the two organisations.

Press release

Following a series of formal complaints to regulators, the privacy watchdog organisation Privacy International has released its estimate of the volume of confidential UK financial data covertly transmitted to the US government.

Last week PI filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in 32 countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of records from the banking giant SWIFT to US intelligence agencies (1).

This disclosure of data has been undertaken on the grounds of counter-terrorism though once in US territory, authorities would be at liberty to use the information in whatever way they see fit. The disclosures involve the mass transfer of data from the SWIFT centre in Belgium to the United States, and possibly direct access by US authorities both to data held within Belgium and data residing in SWIFT centres worldwide, including the UK.

Press release

The privacy watchdog organisation Privacy International has today filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in seventeen countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of millions of records from the banking giant SWIFT to US intelligence agencies.

This disclosure of data has been undertaken on the grounds of counter-terrorism. The disclosures involve the mass transfer of data from the SWIFT centre in Belgium to the United States, and possibly direct access by US authorities both to data held within Belgium and data residing in SWIFT centres worldwide.

The complaints allege that the activity was undertaken without regard to legal process under Data Protection law, and that the disclosures were made without any legal basis or authority whatever. The scale of the operation, involving millions of records, places this disclosure in the realm of a fishing exercise rather than legally authorised investigation.

Press release

On June 22-23 2006 the New York Times ran a story uncovering an international financial surveillance programme run by the Bush Administration. In essence the Bush Administration is getting access to international transfer data and storing this in databases at the Treasury Department and/or CIA for access to investigate terrorist activity.

There are a number of inconsistencies in the accounts so far:

Press release

The London-based human rights watchdog Privacy International today attacked Justice Minister Donner's campaign on 'Wet op de uitgebreide identificatieplicht' as an "underhanded" attempt to convince innocent citizens to forego their legal rights.

Last year the organisation advised that the identity legislation would violate both the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Privacy International today warned that the identity campaign indicated that the Netherlands was moving quickly to becoming Europe's most privacy-invasive and controlled society. Privacy International's Director Simon Davies said: 

Mr Donner knows that a legally enforced requirement to carry identification would invite a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights. Using government propaganda to fool people into believing they should carry identification is deceptive and immoral."

In 2003 the UK government abandoned plans to force its citizens to carry the proposed British identity card.

Press release

The global watchdog Privacy International has today simultaneously filed complaints against Google's controversial Gmail service with privacy regulators in sixteen countries.

The move creates Google's biggest challenge yet in the short but turbulent public debate over its new email service.

Complaints have been filed with the privacy and data protection regulators of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Australia and Canada along with the European Commission and the EU Commissioners internal Article 29 Data Protection Working Group.

Privacy International alleges that the Gmail service violates privacy law, both in Europe and in other countries. The complaint identifies a wide range of possible breaches of EU law. The 4,000 word complaint levels numerous charges against the new service, including:

Press release

The London-based human rights watchdog Privacy International today warned that Justice Minister Donner's proposed  'Wet op de uitgebreide identificatieplicht' will violate the European Convention on Human Rights. The organisation has vowed to take legal action in the courts if the Parliament approves the proposals.

Press release

A conference held today at the London School of Economics will hear new statistics showing that UK law enforcement and investigation agencies are demanding an unprecedented quantity of customer records from communications providers.

Privacy International has compiled figures based on estimates supplied by the Home Office, Ministerial statements, legal experts, the communications industry and the All Party Internet Group of MPs. The figures being released today indicate that police and other investigative agencies are now making around a million requests a year for telephone billing data, email logs, personal details of customers and records showing the location where mobile phone calls were made. These requests involve an estimated 100 million individual phone calls, subscriber data on nearly a million consumers, and the acquisition of an unknown number of email and Internet logs.

Press release

The London-based human rights organisation Privacy International today urged Japanese citizens to boycott their new national identity numbering system. The organisation has called on the Japanese government to acknowledge the dangers created by the system, and to immediately dismantle the project.

Privacy International has warned that the scheme will lead to the most dangerous and comprehensive violation of privacy in recent Japanese history. In the two weeks that it has been operating, dozens of municipalities have experienced computer failures and leakages of personal information. 

Simon Davies, Director of Privacy International, warned:

This situation will become more horrendous with each passing day. The technology and the administrative systems for the system cannot cope with the vast amount of information generated. Countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia have rejected similar proposals because of the risk to personal privacy and individual rights. Japan would be well advised to abandon this dangerous and discredited idea."

Press release

The global human rights watchdog Privacy International (PI) has warned that tens of thousands of UK school children are being finger printed by schools, often without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

The electronic finger printing is being conducted as part of a cost cutting "automation" of school libraries. Privacy International has condemned the procedure, branding it "dangerous, illegal and unnecessary", and has called for a prohibition of the technology in schools.

As many as 200,000 primary and high school children from the age of seven have already been finger printed. The vendor estimates that at least 350 users have installed the system, including Kenton School, Queens Park County Primary School, St Annes (Stanley) CE School, Fryern Junior School, St Leonards RC Comprehensive School and Radyr Comprehensive School.

Pages