Open Letter to all Members of the European Union
The Directive calls for the indiscriminate collection and retention of data on a wide range of Europeans‘ activities. Never has a policy been introduced that mandates the mass storage of information for the mere eventuality that it may be of interest to the State at some point in the future.
It contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights by proposing the indiscriminate and disproportionate recording of sensitive personal information. Political, legal, medical, religious
and press communications would be logged, exposing such information to use and abuse.
III. THREATENS CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
It will have a chilling effect on communications activity as consumers may avoid participating in entirely legal transactions for fear that this will be logged for years. This could damage nascent markets in services such as location-based services.
IV. HARMS INDUSTRY
Creates additional costs of hundreds of millions of Euros every year. These burdens are placed on EU industry alone. The U.S., Canada and the Council of Europe have already rejected retention. Repeated concerns from industry in the U.S. has led to an even stronger set
of safeguards, while three court decisions have called for added safeguards to policy access to location data.
To be effective, there will be calls for additional draconian measures including:
– identification of all those who communicate, requiring ID cards at cybercafés, public telephone booths, wireless hotspots, pre-paid services
– banning use of international communications services such as webmail (e.g. Hotmail and Gmail) and blocking the use of non-EU internet service providers and advanced corporate services.