Cappato report about privacy adopted

By EDRi · March 11, 2004

On 9 March the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the
implementation of the Data Protection Directive of 1995 (95/46/EC), based
on an own-initiative report by the Italian radical Marco Cappato. The
report is very critical about the lack of adequate privacy protection in

The report centres on data protection within the third pillar (the area of
justice and internal affairs). It urges the Commission to finally create
the promised ‘legal instrument’ to protect privacy in the third pillar,
especially concerning Europol, Eurojust and all other third-pillar organs.

The parliamentary resolution dedicates very harsh words to the transfer of
“(…)national and European laws on the transfer of personal data to third
countries have been flagrantly breached by the transfer of transatlantic
passengers’ personal data to the US law-enforcement authorities (…) the
attitude of the Commission, the Member States and some privacy protection
authorities – particularly those which under national law have the power
to block data transfers – has been basically to connive at this violation
of the law and of the principle of legality.”

When it comes to mandatory data retention for law-enforcement purposes,
the report signals that such laws “are not in full conformity with the
European Convention on Human Rights and the related case law, since they
constitute an interference in the right to privacy, falling short of the
requirements of: being authorised by the judiciary on a case-by-case basis
and for a limited duration, distinguishing between categories of people
that could be subject to surveillance, respecting confidentiality of
protected communications(…).”

To help Member States develop a better policy, Parliament asks the
Commission to produce a document on the legal validity of general data
retention and urges the EU institutions to launch an open and transparent
debate on the basis of this document.

Earlier, Cappato was the rapporteur for the Directive of 2002 on Privacy
and electronic communications. After the possibility of general data
retention was introduced last minute in an amendment on Article 15 of that
directive, Cappato asked to have his name removed from the record as

The resolution was passed by 439 votes in favour, 39 against and 28

EP Resolution on the first report on the implementation of the data
protection directive 2003/2153(INI)