Feeds

MEPs slate EU's terror assault on our data rights

As EU charter proclaims respect for data rights

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The European Parliament has condemned the EU's fondness for collecting personal information, mining and generating profiles in a resolution slamming the EU and national governments' approach to fighting terrorism.

The resolution was adopted yesterday, with 359 MEPs voting for, 293 against. Another 38 abstained.

The resolution, first proposed at the close of last month, said: "Governments and EU institutions have often responded to terrorist attacks by adopting laws that have not been sufficiently discussed and are sometimes in violation of basic human rights such as the right to privacy or to a fair trial."

MEPs called on the commission and national governments to re-evaluate their response, looking at their effectiveness, "and the positive and negative effects of these laws, both in terms of security and in terms of citizen's rights".

They picked out Commissioner Frattini's recent proposals on passenger name recognition (PNR), saying they will be assessed by the parliament on "evidence based argumentation". The commission's recent proposals have led some to describe the EU as, potentially, the most surveilled place in the world.

PNR has also been a major sticking point between (some in) the EU and the US thanks to Washington's insistence that every non-citizen air passenger to the US be preceded by the sort of information that only the UK's HMRC would be comfortable chucking out to all and sundry.

The resolution specifically condemned the use of PNR and other databases for data mining to build-up profiles, with a reminder it is "not allowed at European level".

"MEPs say that profiling (the use of racial, ethnic, or similar characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime) should be avoided altogether and raised concerns in this regard on Mr Frattini's new proposal for an EU PNR system," the resolution read.

More broadly, the MEPs called for democratic and parliamentary scrutiny of intelligence services, and demanded the resettlement of Guantanamo prisoners who cannot return to their original countries.

They also proposed "measures to support democracy movements in Islamic countries, including the creation of more student exchanges and funding mass media stations which spread democratic ideas". Is it our imagination, or is that last bit slightly similar to what the neo-cons were advocating before they lost their shirts in Iraq?

The MEP's wide-ranging attack on the EU's approach to fighting terrorism came on the same day the parliament also backed the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 8 of which concerns the protection of personal data. It states:

1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.

2. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.

3. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.

Joined-up government... ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.