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After Hungary, Poland and Spain, Greece is the latest Member State accused of spying on journalists and opposition politicians. While the opposition is seeking transparency and is steadily increasing the pressure, the Greek government has acknowledged select surveillance operations but insists on their legality and categorically denies purchasing or using the commercial Predator spyware. This EPRS paper synthesises the fast-paced and highly politicised developments at national level and contextualises ...

As civil society and media organisations expose EU Member States for using the Pegasus commercial spyware, one of the most high-profile spying scandals of recent years is coming to light in Europe. Member States' intelligence agencies have been accused of abusing highly sophisticated spyware to surveil opposition figures, journalists, lawyers, and high-ranking state officials. 'Having regard to the European Union's attachment to the values and principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human ...

This is the fifth briefing within a series benchmarking Parliament's activities against citizens' expectations submitted to the Conference on the Future of Europe. In a number of different ways, citizens seized the opportunity to call for a high level of data protection and privacy, as well as their rigorous implementation. They recommend measures promoting industry compliance, increasing citizens' control over data, enhancing enforcement and limiting the monitoring, profiling and manipulation of ...

Data governance act

At a Glance 30-03-2022

Seeking to unlock the socio-economic potential of data, while preserving European rights and values, the EU is breaking new ground with its data governance act. The first of a set of measures announced in the European Commission's strategy for data, the act is designed to facilitate voluntary data sharing across the EU and between sectors, by strengthening mechanisms that increase data availability and foster trust in intermediaries. During its April plenary session, the European Parliament is due ...

The datafication of everyday life and data scandals have made the protection of personal information an increasingly important social, legal and political matter for the EU. In recent years, awareness of data rights and expectations for EU action in this area have both grown considerably. The right to privacy and the right to protection of personal data are both enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and in the EU Treaties. The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 gave ...

Germany is set to receive €25.6 billion in non-repayable support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the unprecedented EU response to the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. This amount corresponds to 3.7 % of the entire RRF and to 0.7 % of Germany's 2019 gross domestic product (GDP). The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) for Germany amounts to €27.9 billion (0.81 % of 2019 GDP) and does not include requests for loans. Excluding value-added tax, this corresponds ...

Regulating facial recognition in the EU

In-Depth Analysis 15-09-2021

The European Union is considering regulating facial recognition in the proposed artificial intelligence act, currently under discussion. This EPRS publication explains the state of play and further highlights the concerns raised by the use and the potential impacts on people's fundamental rights of facial recognition technologies. Against this background, the paper explores the current EU legal framework applicable to facial recognition and examines the recent proposals for regulating facial recognition ...

With digital technologies permeating all areas of life, and online access becoming a prerequisite for the exercise of a number of fundamental rights, the internet plays a crucial role for the individual, during but also looking beyond the coronavirus pandemic. As calls for a fundamental right to internet access resurface, it would come as no surprise if legislators engaged further with the topic and assessed policy and legislative options. Against this backdrop, the present analysis i) identifies ...

With internet-based communications services, such as webmail, messaging services and internet telephony, becoming subject to the strict confidentiality requirements of the e-Privacy Directive, providers' deployments of specific technologies to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse material online now appear unlawful. To accommodate such practices, the European Commission proposed a regulation that would temporarily exempt them from certain provisions of the e-Privacy Directive, without, however ...

Data Governance Act

Briefing 17-06-2021

Data is a key pillar of the European digital economy. To unlock its potential, the European Commission aims to build a market for personal and non-personal data that fully respects European rules and values. While the volume of data is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, data re-use is hampered by low trust in data-sharing, conflicting economic incentives and technological obstacles. As the first of a set of measures announced in the European strategy for data, the Commission put ...