Open letter: EU Lawmakers must uphold human rights to privacy and free expression in the Political Ads Regulation
EDRi and 26 civil society organisations, voice our deep concern regarding the worrying developments related to the Regulation on the Targeting and Transparency of Political Advertising.
EDRi and 26 civil society organisations, voice our deep concern regarding the worrying developments related to the Regulation on the Targeting and Transparency of Political Advertising. We urge EU co-legislators to:
- Adopt the position of the European Parliament on Article 12 and accompanying recital 47 which aligns with and strengthens the provisions of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Digital Services Act (DSA) by also prohibiting the processing of observed or inferred personal data, in line with the European Data Protection Board Guidelines 8/2020 on the targeting of social media users.
- Ensure the scope of the Regulation remains narrowly focused on political advertising, i.e. excluding direct, unpaid communications between political parties or Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the one hand, and their members, former members and recent contacts on the other. So-called “organic” speech by political candidates, parties, CSOs, and individuals should likewise remain out of scope.
As academic and civil society research and campaigns have made clear, targeting people with messages based on sensitive data on their tracked behaviour and perceived traits threatens privacy, free expression, and freedom from discrimination. It can also undermine the right to freely form an opinion which can have a serious negative impact on election integrity; such tactics should have no place in human rights respecting democracies.