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E-privacy: EPP caves to big business and blocks proposals to give citizens control of their confidential information online


19 Oct 2017



Brussels, 19 October 2017

A coalition of right-wing groups today voted against proposals designed to give citizens more control over how their confidential information can be used online. The S&D Group was disappointed by the failure of the right-wing EPP and ECR Groups to put citizen’s concerns ahead of the interests of business lobbyists. The Group urges them to reconsider and stop delaying this important update to laws governing citizens’ sensitive information.

Parliament negotiator for the e-privacy legislation and S&D Group MEP Marju Lauristin said:

“The proposals voted on today would put citizens back in control of how their confidential information can be used or shared online. It covers areas such as things said in private emails or WhatsApp conversations. A clear compromise had been reached but at the last minute, the EPP Group pulled out of this. Rather than listening to citizens’ concerns, they gave into demands of an aggressive lobbying effort by multinationals and specifically German big business.  The EPP Group believes that what people write in their private email exchanges or WhatsApp conversations should be fair game for advertisers or multinationals. We will never support this and will now fight strongly so that citizens’ right to confidentiality is protected.
“Even more cynically the EPP Group are now attempting to muddy the waters by presenting their cowardly decision as a way to protect people from sexual exploitation online. This is a barefaced lie. This law applies to how private companies can use information and clearly excludes law enforcement – which is a decision for national governments. The EPP is engaging in the most cynical type of fake news to cover the fact that they are yet again in the pocket of big business. It is as shameful as it is transparent and we urge them to drop the act.”




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