Politics Security

Prism scandal: Data protection before the Commission

20 August 2013
Presseurop
Le Monde

"Data protection groups call on European Commission," says French daily Le Monde, reporting on a letter, sent on August 19, by the Article 29 Working Group (WG29), an independent consultative European organisation concerned with the protection of data and private lives, to Vivian Reding, the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. WG29 "has decided to call on the Vice-President [Reding] to evaluate the consequences of the American PRISM surveillance programme on the protection of data concerning European citizens,” the paper says.

Le Monde explains that WG29 is raising concerns "although a joint United States-European working group has been established to investigate the access of US intelligence agencies to the personal data of European citizens." The members of the European data protection community want to ensure that the working group will evaluate "in an independent manner" potential violations of European law.

"The WG29 also wants to inventory and to analyse European surveillance systems similar to PRISM,” Le Monde says.