In the wake of the Paris attacks and the renewed threat to Europe’s security, Camino Mortera-Martinez highlights a difficult trade-off for the EU: how to tackle cross-border crime without invading citizens’ right to privacy.
In a new policy brief: "Big data, Big Brother? How to secure Europeans’ safety and privacy", Mortera-Martinez urges the EU to:
- Improve communication between the European Parliament (EP) and the Council: the EP should have access to confidential information, and MEPs should have security clearance for examining counter-terrorist measures.
- Combat European citizens’ distrust of the US after the Snowden revelations: both sides of the Atlantic need to ensure that citizens are protected from unwarranted surveillance. The EU and the US should find common standards for the transfer of commercial data, to avoid the European Court of Justice annulling transatlantic agreements in the future, as it did in the Schrems case.
- Strengthen relations and co-operation with the US: Europol’s role in intelligence matters should be extended to become the main EU interlocutor with the US, and should act as a hub for European intelligence.
- Promote the development of technologies that offer ‘privacy by design’: encryption should be supported by the EU and its member-states, albeit with limitations.
- Make cross-border information requests information for law enforcement agencies in the EU easier, by reforming the treaties that regulate such requests within the EU and between European countries and the US.