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Act now: One minute to save your right to privacy

16 October, 2013

On 21 October, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) will vote a an of huge importance to civil rights: The General Data Protection Regulation.

The purpose of this very long legislative proposal is to make sure that our rights to privacy and data protection can be effectively asserted in our everyday lives.

However, some Parliamentarians have been asking for weaker data protection. Some of the proposals might even kill our fundamental right to data protection and privacy!

You can contact your Members of the European Parliament now and tell them to assume their responsibility to stand up for our rights.

How much time do you have? If you have:

Twitter and social networks

You can find a complete list of twitter accounts here.

Here are a few sample tweets that you can send to your MEPs:

  • Dear @xxxx please support compromise on Article 21. Profiling needs to be excluded to protect our fundamental rights #eudatap
  • Dear @xxxx will you vote in favour that my data is only used with my explicit consent (Art.4.8)? #eudatap
  • Dear @xxxx will you support the right to delete and port my data (Art. 15,17 & 18)? #eudatap
  • Dear @xxx ban companies from giving my data to foreign governments or authorities! Support Art. 43 a(new)! #eudatap
  • Dear @xxx need services that respect privacy by design/default, for ex. in AMs 1713, 1714, 1722, 1727! #eudatap
  • Dear @xxx pseudonymous data is indeed personal data. Will you support a strong Art 4.2(a)?
  • Dear @xxxx Good data protection law needs effective and dissuasive sanctions. Support a strong Art 79.

You can also spread the word and share some of the background information via your social networks.

Email your MEPs

Here is a template that you can use and adapt according to your liking. You should write a personalised email to each MEP and concentrate on liberal (ALDE) and conservative (EPP) parliamentarians.

Here is a complete contact list of all MEPs in the LIBE Committee.

"Dear Mr / Mrs ....,

On 21 October, you and your colleagues in the LIBE Committee will decide on a new data protection regulation. This gives you an important opportunity to stand up for our fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

As recent revelations have again shown, is it essential that we remain in control over our personal data. However, I am concerned that some amendments will have the opposite effect and will undermine our right to privacy and data protection.

We are particularly concerned regarding the direction of discussions on Articles 4, 6.1, 15, 17, 18 20, 21, 43a and 79. To this end that urge you to follow EDRi's recommendation regarding the amendments tabled in the Civil Liberties Committee. This analysis can be found at http://dpreform.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/edri-analysis-of-libe-ams1...

It is important to ensure

  • protection of my data in all cases where I can be identified, directly or indirectly; (Article 4.2)
  • a requirement to obtain explicit consent for data processing, which is limited to specific purposes (Article 4.8);
  • a right to delete and port my data; (Art 15,17 & 18)
  • that profiling needs to be excluded to protect our fundamental rights. Please support compromise on Article 21.
  • a prohibition for to give my data to foreign governments or authorities without European authorisation; (Art 43a new)
  • trust in the services we use, which requires meaningful enforcement (Article 79 – as proposed in amendments 2921 & 2922 for instance)

Yours sincerely ....."

Give your MEPs a call

You can phone your MEPs...but remember to always stay polite and calm.

You can either call to ask if your email has well arrived or offer to explain a couple of points of your email (see above).

You can call your MEPs in the LIBE Committee for free via the PiPhone: http://piphone.lqdn.fr/campaign/call2/DataProtection-LIBE-all#mep

Background information

With every search online and every click, we disclose more and more intimate facts of our lives (our location, interests and friends for example). There are fewer and fewer online public spaces where we can interact, communicate, buy, sell, bank, experiment and innovate, without fearing that our personal data will be abused.

Since 1995, the EU has a strong and comprehensive data protection framework. These rules now need to be adapted to suit the challenges of today’s connected world. One of the main purposes of the Regulation is therefore build on the principles in the existing Directive, in order to give citizens greater control over their personal information. The Regulation does this in many ways, including the ability to clearly and explicitly consent to having their data collected, a right to “data portability” and reinforcing the right to erasure of personal data.

The Regulation has been under permanent attack by a concerted lobbying campaign from both sectors of business and foreign countries. More than 4,000 amendments have been tabled in the European Parliament and there are a great number of those that would effectively undermine our rights.

For more information, you can browse through our data protection archive and read our booklet (pdf)

 

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With financial support from the EU's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.
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