Feeds

Privacy warriors slam MEPs over 'corporate-friendly' data law rewrite

Euro politicos 'undermine trust and confidence', argue campaigners

High performance access to file storage

Privacy campaigners are up in arms about a European Parliament committee's decision to adopt a drafted opinion on data protection that some have argued further waters down Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's proposed rewrite of DP law.

Lobbyists from the European Digital Rights (EDRi) group warned that the move could cripple privacy regulation in the EU, after 900 amendments were reportedly approved by MEPs.

The EDRi said on Thursday:

The Industry Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament today adopted a disastrously badly drafted Opinion on data protection. The effect of the adopted text would be to effectively rip up decades of privacy legislation in Europe, undermining trust and confidence – to the detriment of both citizens and business.

Digital activists at La Quadrature Du Net agreed that the decision was a disaster for privacy law in Europe and urged EU citizens to lobby their MEPs hard and to complain about big corporations influencing the rewrite of data protection law.

Another campaign group - Lobbyplag.EU - has highlighted how opinions expressed by the likes of Amazon and eBay appeared to have been copied by MEPs who have put forward amendments to the European Parliament.

That outfit is calling for a "mandatory lobby register" that would:

Create rules for whether and to what extent and by what clearly defined rules outside persons [and] remote workers can work in ministries and may work on draft legislation.

Lobbyplag, which is short for Lobby Plagiarism, argued that the current system is a "a grey area that we must no longer tolerate".

According to the EDRi's executive director, Joe McNamee, some "bad amendments" were rejected by MEPs in order to "scrape" a majority vote together. He argued: "It is becoming increasingly difficult in the Parliament to find majorities for measures which are destructive to citizens’ rights."

Among proposals understood to have been adopted, personal data would be processed by third parties without a legal requirement to inform consumers if they can prove "legitimate interest" about such action.

The EDRi argued that such a "bizarre" move would completely freeze out a citizen's control of their own data, thereby rendering the "entire legislative measure close to meaningless".

Here in the UK, Reding's proposal to overhaul data protection law in Europe came under attack late last year from a panel of British MPs. The politicians urged the justice commissioner to rewrite her plan - warning that it was too rigid and that failed to address "national context" relating to how such legislation might fly in different parts of the European Union.

Reding laid out her proposals in January 2012 in a move to update the 18-year-old data protection law in the 27 member states that make up the EU. She has long claimed to be a champion of the rights of the individual, but she is all for making concessions for businesses, too - a point that immediately led to allegations that the commissioner was watering down the bill to allay the fears of ad execs. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.