Swoboda on NSA snooping and US trade talks: "EU data protection is not negotiable"

Data protection: S&Ds steer progressive rules through civil liberties committee

As new revelations about the extent of the US National Security Agency's snooping on European citizens and leaders continue to emerge, a number of suggestions on how to enforce data privacy are being floated.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

"I am surprised at the proposals to include data protection in the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations with the US. Data protection is not a topic for negotiations between the EU and the US – or any other country. The aim must not be to reach bilateral agreements on some watered-down compromise but to define and enforce adequate standards of data protection and data privacy for all EU citizens – with the US and all our international partners.

"Data knows no borders and therefore we must use the best framework we have at our disposal – the European Union – to win comprehensive privacy rules for all the people of Europe. Clear commitments on comprehensive data privacy rules should therefore be required from EU leaders before the European elections. If the European Council wants to negotiate, it should negotiate with the European Parliament, on the basis of our proposal for a data protection package.

"It is regrettable that some European leaders only take an interest in the subject when they are targeted themselves. Notably Ms Merkel should have used the opportunity of the last European Council to foster an EU-wide alliance for data protection."