Surveillance/Privacy opinion from ECJ

23 Sep 2015

According to Yves Bot, an advocate general for the European Court of Justice, a 'deal easing the transfer of data between the United States and the EU is invalid ... dealing a blow to a system used by Facebook, Google and thousands of other companies.' The same opinion stated 'the surveillance carried out by the United States is mass, indiscriminate surveillance'. The opinion of the Advocate General is available here.

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Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.


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