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Parliamentary questions
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14 November 2019
E-003837/2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eva Kaili
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Protecting user privacy and individual rights by denying access to devices which can be used for recording

Device location tracking and the unnecessary collection and retention of data such as video and voice recordings constitute serious threats to user privacy. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stresses that the collection and storage of data can be carried out only with clearly defined purposes, and that identifying broader patterns outside these purposes is problematic, as these patterns could lead to profiling and discrimination. In order to minimise these risks, by default access to devices which can be used for recording should not be allowed, and be permitted only if citizens give their explicit consent. The ‘always on’ principle has often been abused, with major technology companies being implicated in cases where consumer privacy was not respected, effectively resulting in surveillance of EU citizens in the name of providing a service.

In light of the above, how will the Commission:

Enforce existing legislation so that by default access to users’ devices with recording functions will not be allowed, and promote more options being made available to users, such as ‘allow while using the app’?

Ensure the enforcement of the liability regime for privacy breaches if data is used outside the scope of the intended purposes (e.g. calls, photo, map use)?

Make progress on the ePrivacy Regulation in order to address similar issues, and complement the current Cybersecurity Act, Electronic Telecommunications Code and GDPR?

Last updated: 2 December 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy