On Friday, representatives of the EU Parliament, Commission and Council will meet for what is expected to be the last round of negotiations on the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). After Pirate Party MEPs were able to successfully make important contributions to the protection of the privacy of users in the parliamentary position, it will now be decided where the EU governments under the leadership of the French Council Presidency are willing to go along.
Pirate Party MEP and digital activist Patrick Breyer sits as rapporteur for the LIBE Committee at the negotiating table in Brussels and explains:
“The final negotiations will decide central issues of fundamental rights protection online: If the French Council Presidency wants to protect digital freedom of expression and ensure online documentation of Russian war crimes, for example, error-prone upload filters must not be mandatory. If EU governments want to stop foreign spying and defend Europe’s digital sovereignty, there is no way around a right to secure encryption. And if President Macron really wants to defend our fundamental rights against the surveillance capitalist power of global internet corporations, citizens must be able to protect themselves from annoying consent banners and ubiquitous surveillance ads via “do not track” settings!”
Pirate Party MEP Mikuláš Peksa, DSA rapporteur for the Committee on Economic on Monetary Affairs (ECON), adds:
„It is essential that no unnecessarily restrictive rules will be included in the new law. Users must still have free access to services on the internet. Moreover, the negotiated agreement should, above all, support small and medium-sized European companies, which can bring much innovation to the market. The Pirates’ aim is also to ensure secure encryption of our private electronic communication, which is crucial for safeguarding our fundamental rights online.”
Before the final vote in the EU Parliament in January 2022, the four Members of the Pirate Party in the European Parliament were able to make important contributions in some points to improve user privacy. Here‘s some exampes of the European Parliament‘s demands in the negotiations:
The Parliament had learned from the protests against Article 13/17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and wants to exclude additional filter obligations in the law on digital services. The error-prone “censorship machines” often delete video documentaries of Russian war crimes, for example, as alleged terrorism propaganda.
The Parliament made a commitment: the right to secure encryption is to be guaranteed in the DSA. This is to prevent individual EU states from single-handedly forcing securely encrypted global Internet services to introduce backdoors.
Although the systematic monitoring and creation of personality profiles of Internet users for advertising purposes was not demanded by Parliament, users should for the first time be able to generally refuse tracking in the browser or app (“do not track”) and thus also be spared annoying consent banners. It should be just as easy to refuse consent as it is to give it (ban on dark patterns). In addition, targeting people based on their political views, health status, sexual preferences or religious beliefs should be prohibited.
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