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EU proposal to ban ‘backdoors’ and improve data privacy

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EU proposal to ban ‘backdoors’ and improve data privacy

The European Parliament has proposed amended regulation to improve data privacy. The proposed regulation will require end-to-end encryption on all digital communications and forbid ‘backdoors’ that enable law enforcement to access private message data.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs has published the draft proposals in relation to Article 7 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which says that EU citizens have a right to personal privacy, as well as privacy in their family life and at home. According to the draft, EU residents need to know that the “confidentiality and safety” of their data is “guaranteed,” and backdoors risk “weakening” that privacy.

The proposal has to be approved by Parliament and then reviewed by the EU Council, but if passed will apply to providers of electronic communication services as well as software providers that enable electronic communications and the retrieval of information on the internet.

What will this mean?

If the amendments are passed the following will apply:

  • All online conversations (via instant messaging applications, email, internet phone calls and social media personal messaging) must be fully encrypted to ensure they are private, confidential and safe.
  • Decryption, reverse engineering or monitoring of such communications will be prohibited even to law enforcement agencies.

With the continual growth in cyber crime, end-to-end data encryption is a possible step towards protecting data privacy and improving cyber security.


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