The protection of privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a democratic society, privacy is an essential enabler for other fundamental rights, such as the rights to freedom of expression and to form and join associations. However, many players now find an interest in watering down the protection of this fundamental right to increase the surveillance of citizens or to exploit information about them, by collecting, processing, storing and trading it. These practices, dangerous for our liberties both online and offline, are already becoming widespread on the Internet.
The right to protect our privacy needs to be adapted to the digital era and strengthened to take up these new challenges. But the opposite is happening, the revision of the European regulation concerning the protection of personal data, initiated by the European Commission in 2012, could lead to watering down these safeguards, contrary to citizens' interests. Rather than bowing down to private influences, it is essential that policy-makers force companies to more transparency and accountability for the protection of our data and prohibit abuses.
On 25 January 2012, the European Commission issued a proposal for a EU Regulation on Data Protection, aimed to repeal the 1995 Directive on Personal Data Protection and to offer better protection to data subjects.