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Privacy International, the 20-year-old global campaigner for citizen and consumer privacy rights, has been actively engaged in the consultation process for the review of the European Union data protection legislation framework, and is happy to contribute our views on this Commission Communication. We are pleased that the Commission recognises the need to improve the coherence of the data protection legal framework in order to safeguard the fundamental right to privacy, as expressed both in the European Convention of Human Rights, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Privacy is a human right, and we believe that it must be discussed, promoted, protected, and continuously enhanced.

We have always been ardent supporters of the EU Data Protection Directive.  Its principles-based approach and the principles themselves have been a success story, a beacon for Europe and the World.  These principles have worked well, and therefore must be maintained. We have, on the other hand criticised strongly the lack of compliance with data protection laws by data controllers and data processors, the inconsistencies between various national legislations, as well as the limited powers and weak enforcement by data protection authorities. We remind readers of this consultation response however that we have been frequent users of this Directive, as we have filed numerous complaints across all the member countries. And we are also ambassadors of the Directive, as we promote its principles around the world.