Datagate: S&D Group calls for full investigation into EU governments' involvement
The Socialists and Democrats Group, the 190-strong main progressive force in the European Parliament, today called on the EU to protect citizens' privacy and investigate whether EU governments were involved in the US PRISM scandal.
S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda said:
"Data protection is an integral part of every EU citizen's right to privacy. We will not accept any government or company simply ignoring this right. We demand that the European Commission and European Council provide full disclosure on the data surveillance connected to the PRISM case. If any European government was aware or even involved in spying on EU citizens' data, this must have the most serious repercussions.
"The Commission must clarify whether IT companies involved have respected EU data protection legislation by giving the US government access to EU citizens' data.
"Any EU-US trade pact will have to fully ensure the highest standards of data privacy for all citizens and the reform of EU data protection law must guarantee these standards for EU citizens when using US-based internet companies.
"It is no good the EU having strict regulation on data protection if those standards are not guaranteed when using US-based internet companies".
S&D spokesperson on civil liberties, justice and home affairs Claude Moraes said:
"The S&D Group is concerned that such generalised access to EU citizens' data is not compliant with the EU's current data protection legislation. Furthermore the 'umbrella data protection agreement' between the EU and the US is currently stalled, therefore there is no overall transatlantic legal framework ensuring the protection of personal data.
"The EU must take a strong position on the use of data in the US and ensure that we fight for the protection of our citizens' data. These developments only further reinforce the S&D Group's consistent calls to protect our current data protection legislation and strengthen the ongoing negotiations on the data protection regulation and directive."