The Observer was right to call attention to the little emphasis placed by UK press on the European Parliament passing a non-binding resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) last Wednesday (8th of July).
Jean, replying to The Observer, said in a statement:
‘Ironic, indeed, that this happened so soon after lecturing the Greek leader about the benefits of European solidarity and justice. However, I sharply depart from an otherwise excellent overview when the article stated that data protection is being overlooked within the legal structure of the proposed Treaty.
‘Far from it, some of us are scrutinising that very aspect and working with representatives from a broad range of civil society organisations on data and consumer rights because it is another reason to oppose TTIP. Standards must be up-held and protected – especially in the face of the Snowden revelations – and this is reflected in the position reached by the European Parliament on the updating of the legislation relating to Data Protection, led by Jan Philippe Albrecht of the German Greens. The issue of the differences between data protection rules in the USA and the EU is an ongoing source of tension for the European Parliament while we find all too many national governments willing to compromise in the name of security or of trade.
‘Anyone interested in privacy and holding back the reach of data-mining should pay attention to TTIP and the position of the European Union as a whole, as well as national governments: both the European and national parliaments are likely to vote on any final TTIP deal.
‘This Government has a manifesto commitment to “turbo-charging trade deals” and an antipathy to the European Convention on Human Rights which includes the right to privacy: they have also lobbied hard for access to our travel and communications data and its retention in the name of security. What data safeguards are they expecting to protect the interests of their citizens?’