A collection of rights groups have written to the European Commission (EC) voicing their concerns that new data protection laws currently being worked on will actually erode individuals data protection and privacy rights.
The EC has long hoped to have a single cross-continent data protection law in place, with previous commissioners making it a core part of their policies while in office. However, debate and disagreement stopped this happening during the past few years.
Now, though, the baton has been picked up by the new MEPS and commissioners, with the aim to have the law in place by the end of the year.
However, a coalition of more than 60 rights groups from across the globe have now sent an open letter to EC president Jean-Claude Juncker (PDF) explaining their concerns that the new laws being mooted will actually erode data protection for individuals, not enhance it.
"Without leadership from president Juncker, the right to privacy, not just in Europe but around the globe, will be undermined," said Joe McNamee, executive director of European Digital Rights, the organisation that initiated the letter.
"We hope and expect that the Commission president will uphold the integrity and independence of his institution."
The letter suggests that a failure to follow the work of Reding and the 2012 promise of modernisation and reform would put the EC in breach of recognised fundamental rights.
"The undersigned organisations, NGOs from the European Union and around the globe, are deeply concerned at the changes to the data protection reform package being made in the Council of the European Union," said the letter.
"Failure of the EC to maintain levels of data protection in the 1995 Directive would be a breach of the promise made by the EC."
Signatories include the UK's Open Rights Group, Liberty, the Dutch Consumer Council and the US Electronic Privacy Information Centre.
The proposed changes to the law have posed some tough questions for the government, and which ever party wins power in the forthcoming general election will have to deal with this matter as a priority.
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