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Digital platforms often trick users into giving up their personal data or buying particular products. These “dark patterns” go against European legislation, but authorities are struggling to combat them.
Digital IDs and health passports are being talked up as the only way to return to normal amid COVID-19 but open the door to an unprecedented central surveillance system and an end to personal autonomy through coercion. And while they are being pitched as optional, those who opt out face exclusion from the most fundamental freedoms.
To monitor the spread of the new coronavirus, EU member states have taken additional surveillance measures potentially putting some fundamental rights at risk.
Mass data collection, geo-location tracking and facial recognition have become normalised in the climate of widespread fear of contagion. Yet these threats to privacy, liberty and democracy will only deepen with the imposition of contact tracing apps.
The measures adopted by some Balkan countries to contain the pandemic have raised perplexity in associations and researchers who deal with privacy and digital rights. Emergency actions, derogating from the national rules of law, could translate into mass surveillance tools.
Our thematic focus this month is entirely on the legal and democratic challenges that the pandemic is posing to our societies. In particular, we look at how fundamental rights may be threatened by some emergency measures that are adopted or discussed in Europe.
The 5G networks that are being deployed all around Europe can provide inhabitants of cities with sustainable living, reduced traffic and stringent security, but the technology can also determine a slippery slope towards mass surveillance.
On June 20, the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament will vote on a proposed directive for Copyright reform. Sounds obscure? It is actually a hotly debated topic: the new directive may well shape how the internet will look like in a few years, among other things changing how linking and uploading of contents works.
Locked for years in digital alienation, the EU has set a new standard on data protection and privacy, wrestling back some control from Silicon Valley. But with the coming of age of AI-based applications, Chinese firms strive in turn for a piece of the colony.
New European legislation will significantly increase the accessibility of data produced with public finances: therefore, data produced by public enterprises, i.e. companies which provide essential services such as public transport to many cities.