ePrivacy: European Parliament must stop Michal Boni

Paris, 11 October 2017 - European Parliament's right-wing has put Michal Boni in charge of defending big companies' interests on the ePrivacy Regulation. His fight against our fundamental freedoms have met weak opposition. Unable to defend strong and consistent positions, the left-wing and Greens have given up many 'compromises' to Boni, turning the future Regulation into a much worse law than the one we have today. Unless they stop him now, they will share this responsibility.

'I'm the bad guy, so kill me!'. This is the only answer Michal Boni was able to give when we asked him whether he was truly ready to sell off the numerous protections of our communications currently provided by EU law. Indeed, Mr Boni (the shadow rapporteur1 of EPP2 group on ePrivacy) is pushing the exact same proposals that big companies have been requesting for months (read his amendments on our wiki).

Michal Boni

Many of these proposals have already been accepted as 'compromises' by Ms Lauristin (main rapporteur, from the left-wing group S&D) and Mr Albrecht (shadow rapporteur, from the Greens), who have given up our freedoms step by step. Their only objective seems to draft a text that all political groups may agree on, at any cost. But the cost is high. They are ready to let Boni:

  • allowing stores, malls or cities to geolocate our devices without our consent;
  • allowing companies to monitor communication metadata without the consent of the senders (by simply sending an email to a Gmail account, Google would be able to list when, where and who you are communicating with)3;
  • allowing companies to track their users without their consent in order to 'measure the reach' of their website (to know from what place or through which link we access a website, or to collect any relevant information defining the 'targets' - us - they've reached);
  • allowing websites to block access to users not willing to give up their personal data (their only alternative would be to pay with money, which means that we would need to buy back our fundamental right to privacy)4.

Marju Lauristin & Jan Philipp Albrecht

All of these changes would allow practices strongly prohibited by the current law. But Lauristin and Albrecht are ready to feed Boni with even more 'compromises'. The last one Lauristin has put on the table would allow companies to process metadata of all our communications (where we are calling from, what websites we visit, when we send texts...) for 'statistical purposes in the public interest'. This extremely vague exception would only enable businesses to make more profit with our privacy and without our consent.

Ms Lauristin and Mr Albrecht must awake from their torpor and reject all of these compromises. If they do not, they should no longer pretend to protect our rights and freedoms.

Learn more, spread the message and act now on: eprivacy.laquadrature.net

  • 1. Political groups of the Europeans Parliament appoint one of their members as the 'shadow rapporteur' of a text discussed in Parliament. His/her role is to define and defend his/her group's position
  • 2. EPP is a political group gathering the right-wing Members of the European Parliament
  • 3. The current compromise amendments require the consent of only one person for metadata processing, whereas they explicitly requires 'all users concerned' to give their consent for the processing of content.
  • 4. The current compromise amendments on recital 22 specifies that users refusing to give their consent 'shall be given other fair and reasonable options to access the service'; in practice, this would systematically mean paying with money.
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