Today’s agreement by EU governments on a position on privacy in electronic communications (ePrivacy) is met with sharp criticism by MEP Dr. Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party), shadow rapporteur for the Greens/European Free Alliance Group:
“EU governments are trying to hijack this reform to legalize mandatory and voluntary data retention and forced tracking of our online activities. Blanket and indiscriminate data retention has been repeatedly stopped by the ECJ. It is the most privacy-invasive and unpopular surveillance measure of all. By including these measures in their position, EU governments could as well rename the ePrivacy regulation to ‘dePrivacy’ regulation. This attack on our digital self-determination will not be accepted by us! There must be no watering down of the current communications data protection. In Parliament we will need to promptly discuss whether negotiations on this basis make any sense at all.”
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.