Alert: Our Privacy About to be Destroyed in Brussels?

Paris, 22 January 2013 — The consideration of the "data protection" privacy regulation is in progress in the European Parliament, with a vote in the consumers committee (IMCO) on Wednesday. It is the object of an unprecedented lobbying campaign, mostly driven by US companies. If citizens don't act, banks, insurance companies and Internet service operators will have a free hand to collect, process, store and sell all of our personal data, which will enable them to know and direct all that we do online and offline.

As the consideration of the “data protection” privacy regulation (95/46/EC) is in progress in the European Parliament, an unprecedented lobbying campaign is now silently storming the institution, mostly driven by US online services, banking and insurance companies1. Their objective is to include into the revision of the "data protection" directive2 loopholes allowing them to do anything they want with our personal data, turning our privacy into profit.

Would you accept that online services such as Google, Facebook or Youtube store, process and sell everything about what you do online?

Would you tolerate that your bank or your insurance company could buy access to all you do and store online, in order to decide how much you'd have to pay for a policy, or if you could obtain a loan?

If we don't act quickly, this could become reality.

Many essential safeguards to our privacy3 are about to be breached. The “consumers” committee (IMCO) will vote on its opinion4 on Wednesday, and other key votes will happen in the next weeks and months.

“'Data protection' seems to be an obscure technical issue, but it is crucial, as everything we do online and offline is now stored in databases by private companies. Companies want to have a free hand to make profit out of our personal lives, but our privacy is a fundamental freedom, essential for a free society. Citizens must act now, by warning their Members of the European Parliament and asking them to adopt strong safeguards for our privacy through the adoption of amendments5, and by relaying the information, before it is too late.” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

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