- Ninja mocked for not knowing how to make a sandwich Wednesday 9:30 PM
- Marvel comics writer discusses misogyny in the industry Wednesday 9:09 PM
- TikTok conspiracy theorists think Juice WRLD is still alive Wednesday 7:03 PM
- Conservatives are protesting YouTube’s new harassment rules Wednesday 5:36 PM
- YouTuber’s ‘creepy’ comment about Taylor Swift’s eggs gets ratioed Wednesday 5:31 PM
- Bloomberg razzed for accidentally making an Alexa Fleshlight Wednesday 5:29 PM
- Who is putting cowboy hats on pigeons? Wednesday 4:33 PM
- Scammer reportedly bribed Facebook employee to keep posts up Wednesday 3:36 PM
- The 1975’s singer criticized for ‘Islamophobic’ rant Wednesday 3:22 PM
- Ready to dish out $52K for Apple’s new Mac Pro? Wednesday 3:03 PM
- N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell discuss their new Green Lantern comic, ‘Far Sector’ Wednesday 3:00 PM
- YouTube says it will be harsher on creators with ‘patterns of harassing behavior’ Wednesday 1:15 PM
- Why one senator stopped a vote on net neutrality Wednesday 12:49 PM
- Man reportedly denied refugee status after officials fail to forward email Wednesday 12:09 PM
- ‘Jojo Rabbit’ star to lead Disney+ ‘Home Alone’ reboot Wednesday 12:08 PM
U.S. lobbyists are writing Europe’s data protection rules
64 proposed amendments to the European Union’s data protection rules were copied directly from lobbyist memos.
There’s something seriously amiss about the proposed amendments to the EU’s Data Protection Regulation, which aims to create a modern, blanket set of digital privacy protections for Europeans.
An awful lot of these proposed changes have been copied and pasted, word-for-word, from American lobbyists.
As chronicled by a clever German site called LobbyPlag, there are 64 instances where proposed amendments to the Data Protection Regulation have text identical to passages from previously-written lobbyist memos. Among those are American groups eBay, Amazon, and the Chamber of Commerce, the oldest lobbying organization in the U.S.
For instance, the Chamber of Commerce, in an official memo obtained by European digital rights group La Quadrature, recommended reducing fines for data-mining companies that track Europeans when they argue they made honest mistakes and promise to stop the tracking after being caught. Instead, it proposed tacking on a clarification:
Mitigating factors which support lower or no administrative fines at all shall include (i) measures taken by the natural or legal person to ensure compliance with relevant obligations, (ii) genuine uncertainty as to whether the activity constituted a violation of the relevant obligations, (iii) immediate termination of the violation upon knowledge, and (iv) Co-operation with any enforcement processes.
That paragraph was submitted, verbatim, as a new amendment by MEP Giles Chichester (representing South West England and Gibraltar) on Jan. 9.
Other lobbyist-requested changes include making it easier for companies to profile customers for advertising purposes and making companies that store data in “the cloud” less accountable to European data protection authorities.
“IT giants are currently trying to lobby away our fundamental right to privacy,” Europe Versus Facebook wrote. “The result: This legislative process, which will define privacy protection in the EU for the next 20 years, now runs the risk of being a big step backwards instead of forward.”
To combat this influence, a number of European digital rights groups, among them La Quadrature and EDRi, have created privacycampaign.edu to convince Europeans to contact their MEPs to vote against the dozens of lobbyist-created amendments.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.