The drastic increase of lobbying expenditure by Big Tech companies is denting Europe’s traditionally strict privacy laws and shifting more power into the hands of corporations. And the COVID-19 is playing in the latter's hand.
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.
InfringEye, EDJNet’s tool for exploring current litigations between the European Commission and EU member states, has been updated to include the latest data. We offer an overview of the last ten months, and the ability to download datasets for each member state.
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.
After the abolition of direct public funding of politics in 2013, Italy intended to increase private donations. However, the numbers tell a different story: little funding comes from “big donors”, while a lot comes from elected representatives. Meanwhile, the absence of direct public funding in Italy remains a European anomaly.
1868. This is the total number of terrorism victims during the last nineteen years, who have either lost their lives in attacks in the European Union, or as European citizens outside the EU's territory. The EU has adopted several directives to combat terrorist acts, but certain member states have yet to transpose them into national law.
Eventually, European policy makers and MEPs greeted the start of the new European Commission’s term. The new president Ursula Von Der Leyen mentioned that the priority of the Commission team would be to revive Europe’s democracy. It might need to break with the past if it wants to do achieve this.