By Heini Järvinen

On 4 June 2014, the Belgian EDRi member Liga voor Mensenrechten will organize the 4th edition of the Big Brother Awards (BBA) in Belgium. The general public can decide on the person or organisation that will be “awarded” prizes for attacking citizens’ right to privacy.

In the name of a greater “perception of security for citizens”, a better streamlined economy and a societal psychosis that is turning all of us into “potential suspects”, we are asked to increasingly give up our privacy. Liga voor Mensenrechten has selected nine of the most outspoken proponents of this view on society and our right to privacy to become potential Big Brother Award laureates. All of them are very different from each other but they do share one common feature: they represent a further erosion of our privacy.

Who are this year’s BBA candidates? The Rock Werchter inbuilt chip wrist strap, the privacy row around Louis Michel, Yves Liégois’ DNA databank, “sharenting” as a social phenomenon, the snooping smartphones, the infamous data retention law, E-Call and other tracking systems that enable Big Business to sell our personal data without our consent.

Voting is possible from 5 May until 28 May, and anyone who values privacy and its vital importance can cast his or her vote. Winners of the BBA will be awarded during a prize-ceremony on 4 June in Ghent.

Big Brother Awards website (only in Dutch)
http://www.bigbrotherawards.be/index.php/nl/

(Contribution by Caroline De Geest – EDRi member Liga voor Mensenrechten – Belgium)