Knowledgebase

Number of results: 3

Big Data and smart devices and their impact on privacy

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Amandine Scherrer
Publisher / Publication: 
Directorate General for Internal Policies: Policy Department C: Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
Abstract: 

The numerous debates triggered by the increased collection and processing of personal data for various - and often unaccountable - purposes are particularly vivid at the EU level.

Two interlinked, and to some extent conflicting, initiatives are relevant here: the development of EU strategies promoting a data-driven economy and the current reform of the EU personal data protection legal framework in the context of the adoption of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this context, and focusing on the development of Big Data practices, smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), this Study shows that the high degree of opacity of many contemporary data processing activities directly affects the right of the individuals to know what is being done with the data collected about them. This Study argues that the promotion of a data- driven economy should not underestimate the challenges raised for privacy and personal data protection and that strengthening the rights of digital citizens should be the main focus of the current debates around the GDPR. 

Developing an EU Internal Security Strategy, fighting terrorism and organised crime

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
European Parliament / LIBE Committee
Abstract: 

The present study examines the steps taken since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in the field of internal security and assesses commitments made in the areas of fundamental rights and civ

il liberties. The study examines the development of the EU Internal Security Strategy, with special attention paid to fighting terrorism and organised crime. It also investigates the activities of the main EU agencies involved in internal security policies. The study finally sketches out the key challenges lying ahead for EU internal security policies, with particular consideration paid to the role that the European Parliament will be called upon to play. 

National Programmes for Mass Surveillance of Personal Data in EU Member States and their Compatibility wit EU Law

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
European Parliament / LIBE Committee
Abstract: 

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: t

he UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy. It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations. The study argues that these surveillance programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be engaged from an EU law perspective via (i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights standards and judicial oversight constitute key standards; (ii) the risks presented to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners, and (iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The study then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament. 

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