EU Parliament: Will Liberals (ALDE) Weaken Privacy in Industry Committee?

Paris, 20 February 2013 — While the “Industry” (ITRE) committee is about to vote on its opinion regarding data protection regulation, it is now clear that the outcome will depend on the Members of the liberal ALDE group. They will have to choose between allowing full-on exploitation of our personal data or imposing tough safeguards to protect our fundamental right to privacy. Citizens must act today 20 February before 4pm and urge their MEPs to defend the general interest by choosing the latter.

The “Industry” (ITRE) committee will vote its opinion on the draft report of the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee1 today 20 February at 4pm. As shown in the latest version of the “compromise amendments” published by La Quadrature du Net, the dangerous amendments supported by EPP (conservatives) and ECR (eurosceptic conservatives) cannot be adopted without the votes of the 6 ALDE Members2:

ALDE MEPs of the ITRE committee have already shown they are sometimes willing to sacrifice the interests of citizens, such as in the vote on ACTA in May 2012. While the ALDE group called for the rejection of the dangerous trade agreement, some of its ITRE Members, led by Jens Rohde, supported an EPP attempt to neutralize recommendations protecting citizens. This time, it is on data protection and privacy that ALDE MEPs could walk away from defending citizens' fundamental freedoms, by giving in to US corporations that have engaged in particularly strong lobbying, leading to key MEPs being caught copy-pasting industry amendments .

Up until 4pm, citizens must act and urge their ITRE MEPs to protect their fundamental right to privacy. They can do so easily by calling them for free with the Piphone, by using microblogging, or any other means.

“Liberal Members of the ITRE committee have a great responsibility in their hands. Will they contribute to a full-on plundering of our privacy, allowing US Internet giants, banks and insurance companies to collect, process, and sell our personal data? Or will they stand by fundamental freedoms and the founding principles of the European Union by mandating strong privacy safeguards? Citizens must act and remain watchful.” concluded Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

On 21 February at 9.30am, the “Employment” (EMPL) committee will also vote on its opinion on the draft report of the LIBE committee, and its MEPs should be contacted too.

To get more information and discuss this, you can visit our forum.

  • 1. The LIBE committee, with the rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht (Germany - Greens/EFA), is the main committee working on the revision of the European regulation concerning the protection of personal data (95/46/EC): its final report, which must take into account the opinions expressed by the IMCO, ITRE, EMPL and JURI committees, will call the whole European Parliament to vote in favour or against the new Regulation during the final vote in plenary session.
  • 2. List and rough analysis of amendments where ALDE votes are key:
    See also the voting list