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Privacy

Data privacy issues following PRISM affair

28 August, 2013
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The PRISM scandal has brought forth a series of issues related to the protection of the European citizens’ data and reactions calling for measure to prevent spying on these data.

As the EU is currently updating its data privacy legislation, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister, believes the EU needs a new set of data privacy rules, “a package of measures at the EU level against mass spying by foreign secret services," and considers that the "high German data protection standards should be the rule."

EDRi-member Digitale Gesellschaft sent a letter to Justice Minister Leutheusse-Schnarrenberger asking her to take position on the amendments tabled by her political party in Brussels.

The minister has also raised the possibility of new, tangible m

ENDitorial: Belgian railways – a case study in bad internet security

31 July, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: Belgische Bahn – ein Paradebeispiel für mangelnde Siche...


Earlier this year, we reported on the major data leak that was suffered by Belgian railways.

Over 100 global groups make a principled stand against surveillance

31 July, 2013
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For some time now there has been a need to update understandings of existing human rights law to reflect modern surveillance technologies and techniques. Nothing could demonstrate the urgency of this situation more than the recent revelations confirming the mass surveillance of innocent individuals around the world.

To move toward that goal, today we’re pleased to announce the formal launch of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. The principles articulate what international human rights law – which binds every country across the globe – require of governments in the digital age. They speak to a growing global consensus that modern surveillance has gone too far and needs to be restrained.

Finally! Safe Harbour Agreement under question by EU commissioner

31 July, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Endlich! EU-Kommissarin stellt „Safe Harbor“-Abkommen in Frage


On 19 July 2013, during the informal Justice Council in Vilnius, Lithuania, EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding stated for reporters that her services will be reviewing the so-called Safe Harbor Agreement.

The agreement, concluded 13 years ago between the US department of commerce and the European Commission, based on a clause in the current 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, does no longer seem as "safe" as the title currently implies.

"The Safe Harbour agreement may not be so safe after all.

Irish DPA: OK for Facebook and Apple to share personal data to NSA!?!

31 July, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Irlands Datenschutzbehörde gibt ihren Segen zur Datenweitergabe durch Facebook und Apple an die NSA!?!

Austria: Outsourcing data retention obligations to the US

17 July, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: VDS in Österreich: Auslagern der Speicherverpflichtung an die USA


During the ECJ lawsuit against the data retention (DR) directive it became clear that DR obligations may have been outsourced to contractors, maybe even to US-based companies, thereby giving US authorities potentially unrestricted access to all such retained data.

Austria is one example of EU member state with data retention in place. Therefore, the Austrian NGO Initiative für Netzfreiheit asked the national data protection authority (DPA) whether it could rule out that Austrian service providers have

The PRISM scandal gets bigger

17 July, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: PRISM-Skandal weitet sich immer mehr aus


Privacy campaigners have filed claims against Prism and Tempora, the US and British spy programmes that allow intelligence agencies to gather, store and share data on millions of innocent people.

Privacy International has submitted a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), hoping for a public hearing and early rulings, due to the seriousness of the issue.

ECJ Advocate General: Google shouldn't be forced to block results

3 July, 2013
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In a case opposing the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) and Google Spain, Niilo Jaaskinen, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ ), issued on 25 June 2013 his opinion that, on the basis of the Data Protection Directive, search engine service providers are, in principle, not responsible of personal data appearing on web pages they process.

AEPD requested Google Spain to remove results regarding an auction notice for a repossessed home, based on a complaint from a person who had claimed that the search results were infringing on his right to privacy and who had asked for the removal of the results.

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