[A2k] Major Loopholes Remain in European Parliament's Data Protection Regulation

La Quadrature du Net contact at laquadrature.net
Wed Mar 12 06:26:41 PDT 2014


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/major-loopholes-remain-in-european-parliaments-data-protection-regulation

Major Loopholes Remain in European Parliament's Data Protection Regulation

*** Paris, 12 March 2014 — Today the European Parliament adopted Jan Philipp Albrecht's report [1] on the General Data Protection Regulation at first reading. MEPs finally succeeded in resisting pressure by lobbyists [2], rejecting most of their harmful proposals [3]. Although important improvements were adopted, the dangerous concepts of “legitimate interest” and “pseudonomyous data” remain and could make the final text ineffective in protecting citizens. ***

On 21 October 2013, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee adopted its report on the General Data Protection Regulation, before giving its rapporteur, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA – DE) the mandate to negotiate an agreement with the European Commission and Council of Ministers behind closed doors (trilogue). After these negotiations failed to reach a consensus, the European Parliament adopted the same text as LIBE.

Despite some of the heaviest lobbying ever seen in Brussels led by the banking, technology sectors and foreign governments, the mobilisation of civil society succeeded in convincing MEPs to preserve most of the positive changes introduced by the European Commission in 2012: explicit consent [4], effective sanctions (now up to 5% of a company's worldwide turnover), a clearly defined and wide territorial scope, stronger and well-balanced rights for citizens.

Unfortunately MEPs failed to address the most significant weakness in the Commission's initial 2012 proposal, namely the broad definition of “legitimate interest”. Anybody's “legitimate interest” can be used as a legal basis to bypass users' consent for the processing of their data. Moreover, the report introduces the misleading concept of “pseudonymous” data, favoured by the technology lobbyists.

Next 5-6 June, the Council is scheduled to publish its position on this Regulation.

“Today's vote closes the first chapter of a long process which will determine whether citizens will regain control over their privacy. Although civil society strongly fought back the lobbying of banks, tech giants and governments, MEPs failed to fix several significant and dangerous loopholes. Citizens must urge their national governments to close these loopholes, in order to preserve those improvements and refrain the introduction of new derogations in the text. As this Regulation will be finalised by the next Parliament, citizens should raise the issue with their candidates during the upcoming campaign.” concluded Miriam Artino, policy analyst for the association La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

1. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A7-2013-0402+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

2. https://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Lobbies_on_dataprotection

3. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/major-loopholes-in-privacy-regulation-parliament-must-stand-for-citizens

4. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/privacy-alert-1-explicit-consent-the-cornerstone

** About La Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

contact at laquadrature.net, +33 (0) 972 294 426


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