The European Parliament Must Protect Our Right to Privacy

Paris, 17 October 2013 — Few days before the vote of the “Civil Liberties” committee (LIBE) on the future European Regulation on the protection of our personal data, a coalition of European organisations release the following joint press release by 19 non-governmental organizations reaffirming the pressing need for a strong protection of the citizens' fundamental right to privacy.

Civil rights groups call on European Parliament to vote for strong data protection rules

On Monday 21 October, the European Parliament will decide on the future of privacy and data protection in Europe. The recent revelations surrounding government surveillance involving some of the Internet's biggest companies have highlighted the urgency of an update of Europe's privacy rules.

The Regulation will have a major impact on the digital environment for citizens, businesses and public bodies. “The choice is between clear, harmonised, predictable and enforceable rules that will benefit European citizens and businesses or unclear, unpredictable rules that will benefit nobody except data monopolies and lawyers,” said Joe McNamee, EDRi's Executive Director.

Civil society groups are concerned that any weakening of the European data protection rules and principles will undermine the rights and freedoms of European citizens. The past months have shown how important it is to limit the collection of data to the minimum necessary, to ensure privacy by design and to safeguard the right of individuals to delete their data from online services. The European Parliament now has the responsibility to ensure that Europe gets strong data protection rules for a competitive and harmonised market.

The Regulation will only be as strong as its weakest link, so it is critical that no loopholes are created that would undermine our democratic rights.

Joint press release by:


Raegan MacDonald +32 486 301 096

Alternative Informatics Association - Turkey

Özgür Uckan + 90 1 216 418 0 417

Article 19

Thomas Hughes, Executive Director +44 (0) 20 7324 2510

Bits of Freedom

Tim Toornvliet : +31 6 18606472

Chaos Computer Club

Christian Horchert +49 151 46429622

Digitalcourage e.V.

Dennis Romberg
+49521 1639 1639

Digitale Gesellschaft

Markus Beckedahl +49 177 207503541

Electronic Frontier Finland

Ville Oksanen +358 40 5368583

European Digital Rights

Joe McNamee +32 2 2742570

Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR)

Ross Anderson +441223 334733

Föreningen för Digitala Fri- och Rättigheter (DFRI)

Andreas Jonsson +46 733755980

Initiative für Netzfreiheit

Josef Irnberger
+43 (0) 699 10 47 88 31

La Quadrature du Net

Jérémie Zimmermann +33 615 940 675

Liga voor Mensenrechten vzw

Caroline de Geest +329 223 07 38

Open Rights Group

Jim Killock +44 784498127

Panoptykon Foundation

Katarzyna Szymielewicz +48 692 404 096

Privacy International

Anna Fielder +44 20 7242 2836

VIBE - Verein für Internet-Benutzer Österreichs

Andreas Krisch +43 1 480502511


Walter van Holst