Member of the European Parliament and civil liberties activist Dr. Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party), shadow rapporteur of the Greens/EFA Group, comments on today’s announcement by EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Thierry Breton to work out a new proposal for an ePrivacy regulation:
“Never-ending data scandals demonstrate: The lack of confidentiality of our Telephone and Internet use can expose even the highest public officials to blackmailing. We need to stop data retention, message censorship plans and tracking instead of making us even more naked online! I am skeptical as to whether the new ePrivacy proposal from ex-manager Breton will be in the interest of citizens and their privacy, or whether it will be for the benefit of surveillance authorities and data-greedy corporations. In the age of the digital revolution our open society and democracy depend on keeping us in control of our lives.”
Background: The protection of privacy in telecommunications and Internet use is currently regulated by the ePrivacy Directive. The reform proposal of the EU Commission has been revised by the European Parliament in order to protect users from data retention, tracking and interception. EU governments have worked on the contrary on massively reducing the level of data protection, among other things through data retention and message censorship. In the end the Member States failed to agree on a common position.