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Civil rights groups press European Parliament on privacy protection

Ahead of important vote on Monday
Thu Oct 17 2013, 14:49

NINETEEN CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS have banded together to press the European Parliament into a privacy protection vote on Monday at the "Civil Liberties" committee (LIBE).

The group includes just about every well known group in the privacy protecting portfolio, and European Digital Rights (EDRi) is found rubbing shoulders with the Chaos Computer Club, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch.

"The choice is between clear, harmonised, predictable and enforceable rules that will benefit European citizens and businesses or unclear, unpredictable rules that will benefit nobody except data monopolies and lawyers," said EDRi executive director Joe McNamee.

The LIBE committee vote will be held on Monday 12 October and will see the European Parliament deciding "the future of privacy and data protection in Europe," said the groups.

"Civil society groups are concerned that any weakening of the European data protection rules and principles will undermine the rights and freedoms of European citizens," they said in a statement that implicitly acknowledged recent NSA snooping revelations.

"The past months have shown how important it is to limit the collection of data to the minimum necessary, to ensure privacy by design and to safeguard the right of individuals to delete their data from online services."

Earlier this week the French group La Quadrature du Net urged supporters to contact their members of the LIBE committee and rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht with their concerns about the erosion of privacy laws and personal privacy in France.

"Citizens need effective legal tools to regain control over their personal data in the face of the predatory behaviors of giant companies whose business models are based on collecting everyone's data, favouring the rise of global surveillance." said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net. "Such legal empowerment cannot be achieved without a proper public debate". µ


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