EU Privacy Watchdog Slams ACTA. Again.

Brussels, April 24th, 2012 - In a decisive opinion, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) says that ACTA's digital chapter would threaten privacy and freedom of expression online.

"In this new opinion, the EDPS makes clear that ACTA's call for 'cooperation' between Internet service providers and the copyright industry must be interpreted in the context of the ongoing repressive trend against online sharing. According to the privacy watchdog, this privatization of enforcement would have dire consequences for the freedom of expression and privacy of Internet users. Whereas the Commission and pro-ACTA members of the EU Parliament keep pretending that ACTA respects EU law and is harmless to fundamental rights, here comes yet another independent analysis stressing on the contrary that ACTA could lead to general monitoring and filtering of online communications. Citizens must use this opinion as one decisive argument to convince the Members of the EU Parliament to reject ACTA, in every step of their committee work and once and for all in plenary.", says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

In February 2010, the EDPS had issued a first opinion against ACTA. In this second opinion released today, the EDPS stresses in particular that:

  • many of the voluntary enforcement cooperation measures called for by ACTA would entail a processing of personal data by ISPs which goes beyond what is allowed under EU law;
  • measures that allow the indiscriminate or widespread monitoring of Internet users' behaviour, and/or electronic communications against non-commercial file-sharing would be disproportionate and in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention for human Rights, Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the Data Protection Directive;
  • ACTA does not contain sufficient limitations and safeguards, such as effective judicial protection, due process, the principle of the presumption of innocence, and the right to privacy and data protection.

See the EDPS' press release.