‘Privacy is not a privilege, it’s a fundamental human right,’ top privacy expert tells RT
Legal officer at Privacy International (PI), Camilla Graham Wood, was speaking ahead of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) hearing in April, in which EU judges will decide whether the “bulk” acquisition and retention of data violates fundamental human rights.
The court will make a decision after Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson and Tory MP David Davis secured a victory against the government in Britain’s High Court last year. They argued that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Dripa) 2014 allows police and security services to snoop without proper privacy safeguards.
— PrivacyInternational (@privacyint) March 24, 2016
The legislation forces phone and internet firms to store communications data for a year, and regulates how intelligence agencies and the police can use it.
The High Court ruled the legislation is “inconsistent with European Union law.” The ECJ will review that decision on April 12.
Speaking to RT on Tuesday, Graham Wood said privacy is not a privilege, but a “fundamental human right.”
“The very fact of mass retention of data on a generalized basis violates the right to privacy of individuals. The very fact of retention will affect how individuals communicate, impacting on private behavior,” she said.
“If bulk interception of communications data without safeguards is ruled acceptable, this is a blow for privacy in Europe but it is not the end of privacy as we know it. The UK is considering the IPBill and it is vital that Parliament takes seriously the risks of bulk interception.”