Protection of Privacy & Civil Rights

Data Protection and Surveillance

Security in Freedom

The expansion of our civil rights, and protection of our freedom is a primary motivation for PIRATES.

The threat posed by unlawful and excessive surveillance measures, imposed on us by governments both foreign and domestic, whether in response to terrorism or other threats is grave. There is an immediate need for action to redress the balance and restore our privacy.

Ensure everyone's privacy

Europeans have a proud history of fighting for their fundamental rights and the freedoms of their fellow citizens.

To preserve our rights and freedoms, and to ensure the effectiveness of law enforcement, PIRATES demand that data collection and monitoring is only targeted at people who are suspected of committing or preparing a crime and only with judicial approval and oversight.

Adequate protection against crime is an important responsibility of the state. We must ensure this responsibility is fulfilled through an intelligent, rational and evidence-based security policy.

We wish to abolish the practice of routine, automated and untargeted data collection, storage and matching.

Anyone subject to state surveillance should be informed of these facts in due time to safeguard against abuse.

PIRATES seek the abolishment of the European Data Retention Directive

Everyone must have a right to know which rules govern the collection of personal information, the maximum storage time and retention policies.

PIRATES oppose the exchange of any personal data without good reason within, or outside of the EU. This would include the transfer of passenger and payment data to third countries such as the USA, proposed Eurosur data and the exchange of data from national police databases. The delivery of personal data to countries without effective protection of fundamental rights must be prohibited.

PIRATES reject the introduction of compulsory monitoring and reporting devices, such as "smart meters".

PIRATES want to enforce strict standards for any industrial systems automatically processing personal or private information (such as access control systems) essentially making those systems open source, publicly documented and peer-reviewed.

Systematic evaluation of existing surveillance powers and programs

Prohibit mass surveillance

Public spaces are full of cameras that monitor the movement of people and vehicles, track faces, and combine this information without considering the potential for the erosion of privacy. The data shows that the presence of such systems has little effect on the rate of crime and that, at best, criminality simply shifts to other spaces. PIRATES support and would prioritise the movement of police personnel from monitoring duties, to patrolling the streets.

Prohibition of electronic spying and collection of biometric data

Routine checks must not unreasonably interfere with privacy. We reject the use of electronic "nude" scanners due their detrimental impact on human dignity, the collection of communications content and metadata, the perusal of private data on electronic devices and other similar invasive procedures. We oppose the collection of biometric data from innocent people and its storage in central databases.

Stop new monitoring plans

PIRATES want to stop the progressive dismantling of civil rights, that has taken on dramatic proportions in recent history. To ensure our safety, we do not need new laws, existing laws are sufficient.

In particular we reject:

  • the disclosure and retention of data from electronic passenger records when travelling in the EU by monitoring authorities (“EU PNR”)
  • automated profiling of people to divide them into risk categories (“profiling”), or other mass data analysis
  • the EU-US agreement on data ("safe harbour").

Fundamental rights "stamp" for new safety measures

PIRATES want the European Fundamental Rights Agency to systematically examine all current and future security programmes of the EU. The approach of the security agencies of the EU must be reviewed on the basis of evidence, to avoid adverse side effects and examine alternatives and ensure compatibility with our fundamental rights. We must ensure that the European Agency for Fundamental Rights has the relevant powers to accomplish this task.

PIRATES advocate a moratorium on any further interference with our human rights by the security agencies of the EU in the name of internal security until the systematic review of existing powers by the FRA is complete.

Security Research and Monitoring Software

PIRATES support the funding of research through the EU, however the frequent involvement of government agencies in surveillance and filtering operations like INDECT and CleanIT demonstrates a clear intention to use such technologies in a way which makes them publicly funded tools for dismantling civil rights. We therefore argue that the EU must not fund technologies that limit fundamental rights.

European Data Protection Regulation With a High Level of Data Protection

The emerging EU Data Protection Regulation should not lead to a lowering of data protection standards, but must strengthen the rights of European citizens in all European countries. It must not be possible for companies operating in the EU to escape effective supervision and control, for example Facebook in Ireland must not be able to circumvent Data Protection regulations.

Metadata created as a side effect of using complex information systems must also be considered personal data. A mechanism to request a list of third parties accessing a persons data must exist and be comparable to the method which was used for expressing consent in the first place. Even where consent for the exchange of personal data has been given, the person affected by the trade of data must not be denied access to the summary of all the data passed to any third party.

The use of personal data for data trade, advertising or market or opinion research must be allowed only with the active and informed consent of the person concerned.

The direct access to personal data and live communication of European citizens and businesses on the Internet by intelligence agencies clearly shows that there is a great need for action at the international level. Here PIRATES want to take measures to protect personal data, the privacy of citizens and their free development of personality and to prevent industrial espionage in the future.

Ban indiscriminate personal identifications in public spaces

PIRATES are against individuals being required to identify themselves if they are not suspected of committing a crime, especially when they are exercising their rights to protest or assemble. If anyone can be targeted in a demonstration or in the expression of their views then freedom of expression is endangered.

Refugee policy

The European approach to asylum and refugees must be based on the acknowledgement of human rights and fully respect the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

EU neighbourhood policy and EU development policy should be geared towards lasting improvement of living conditions and focus on the promotion of human rights in all partner countries and regions. We denounce all tendencies to create a repressive apparatus of survey and control in Europe.

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