What happens next?
MEPs propose a "priority plan" to be implemented in the months and years to come among EU institutions, member states, EU citizens, national parliaments and the IT industry.
The so-called "European Digital Habeas Corpus - protecting fundamental rights in a digital age" includes the following 8 recommendations / actions for the next Parliament (2014-2019):
Action 1: Adopt the Data Protection Package in 2014;
Action 2: Conclude the EU-US Umbrella Agreement guaranteeing the fundamental right of citizens to privacy and data protection and ensuring proper redress mechanisms for EU citizens, including in the event of data transfers from the EU to the US for law enforcement purposes;
Action 3: Suspend Safe Harbour until a full review has been conducted and current loopholes are remedied, making sure that transfers of personal data for commercial purposes from the Union to the US can only take place in compliance with the highest EU standards;
Action 4: Suspend the TFTP agreement until: (i) the Umbrella Agreement negotiations have been concluded; (ii) a thorough investigation has been concluded on the basis of an EU analysis and all concerns raised by Parliament in its resolution of 23 October 2013 have been properly addressed;
Action 5: Evaluate any agreement, mechanism or exchange with third countries involving personal data in order to ensure that the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data is not violated due to surveillance activities, and take necessary follow-up actions;
Action 6: Protect the rule of law and the fundamental rights of EU citizens, (including from threats to the freedom of the press), the right of the public to receive impartial information and professional confidentiality (including lawyer-client relations), as well as ensuring enhanced protection for whistleblowers;
Action 7: Develop a European strategy for greater IT independence (a ‘digital new deal’ including the allocation of adequate resources at national and EU level) in order to boost IT industry and allow European companies to exploit the EU privacy competitive advantage;
Action 8: Develop the EU as a reference player for a democratic and neutral governance of the internet.
Parliament undertakes to act as the "EU citizens’ rights advocate", with the following timetable to monitor implementation:
• Spring 2014: a formal call on the European Council to include the ‘European Digital Habeas Corpus - protecting fundamental rights in a digital age’- in the guidelines to be adopted under Article 68 TFEU;
• April 2014-March 2015: a monitoring group based on the Civil Liberties inquiry team responsible for monitoring any new revelations concerning the inquiry's mandate and scrutinising the implementation of this resolution;
• July 2014 onwards: a standing oversight mechanism for data transfers and judicial remedies within the competent committee;
• Autumn 2014: a commitment that the ‘European Digital Habeas Corpus - protecting fundamental rights in a digital age’ and related recommendations will serve as key criteria for the approval of the next Commission;
• 2014: a conference bringing together high-level European experts in the various fields conducive to IT security (including mathematics, cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies) to help foster an EU IT strategy for the next legislative term;
• 2014-2015: a Trust/Data/Citizens’ Rights group to be convened on a regular basis between the European Parliament and the US Congress, as well as with other committed third-country parliaments, including that of Brazil;
• 2014-2015: a conference with the intelligence oversight bodies of European national parliaments.