News & announcements
This is hopefully going to be our last report on the EU-funded Clean IT project. Since our last article, which was the trigger for quite some negative feedback in the international press, much has changed in the drafting documents of the project. On Wednesday 30 January, the participants meet for a final conference in Brussels in order to approve a final report (pdf) containing a list of recommendations (and lots and lots of white space).
What happened so far? In 2010, But Klaasen, from Dutch law enforcement, submitted a project proposal to the European Commission.
The European Commission frequently organises consultations, which are open not only to industry but also civil society and individual citizens. These are valuable opportunities to shape policy in a positive way from the outset rather than needing to take to the streets when the wrong policy is developed based on bad analysis.
The following is a list of consultations that are of particular importance to digital rights in 2013:
- IPRED consultation on the efficiency of proceedings and accessibility of measures
Deadline 30 March
See EDRi's answering guide
The United States authorities have produced another lobbying document to influence the European Union's decision making on European citizens' fundamental right to privacy and data protection.
Strangely, the document itself is not on headed paper and contains no authorship information. All of the lobbying documents produced so far have been in support of the positions taken by large US corporations and the adoption of US-style weak privacy protections in Europe.
The Privacy Camp is an event in Brussels on privacy and data protection challenges and possibilities in Europe, launched by European Digital Rights (EDRi), the Law, Science, Technology and Society research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB-LSTS) and the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis (FUSL).
This event is a free-to-attend pre-conference of the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection, on 23, 24, 25 January 2013.
Facultes universitaires Saint-Louis (FUSL)
Rue du Marais 119
22 January 2013. The event starts at 11:00 and finishes at 18:00.
The Irish Presidency of the European Council has distributed a "discussion paper" on the protection of citizens' personal data ahead of this week's Justice and Home Affairs Council in Dublin. As the first Presidency in this “European Year of the Citizen”, we had every reason to expect the Irish to produce novel ways of protecting citizens. Their first suggestions are definitely novel, but certainly are not protective of citizens' fundamental rights.
The CleanIT project has received a huge amount of criticism from outside of the EU institutions. But imagine if the Commission had been alerted to the incoherence of the planned project. Imagine if, before investing 325.796 Euro in CleanIT, the European Commission had been warned that the project lacked methodology and did not represent value for money. Imagine if the Commission's independent checks of the initial proposal gave the project a “value for money” rating that was substantially less than half the minimum average score necessary.
Remarkably, this is exactly what happened.
The draft Report of the European Parliament on the European Commission's proposed Data Protection Regulation was published today. The Parliamentarian responsible, German Green MEP Jan Albrecht, has sought to improve on the Commission's initial proposal and also to address many of the concerns raised by his colleagues in the discussions that have taken place so far in various Committees. The draft text is therefore a mix of straightforward attempts at positive improvements and attempts at compromise based on the opinions so far expressed by his colleagues.