European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx Raises Privacy Concerns Regarding ACTA Proposed 3-Strike Approach

Mark Eghrari
February 4, 2010
In a newly released opinion, European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx raises a number of privacy issues with a 3-strike Internet disconnection policy discussed in leaked ACTA documents.

These concerns include:

  1. "the fact that the (unnoticed) monitoring would affect...all users, irrespective of whether they are under suspicion."
  2. "the monitoring would entail the systematic recording of data, some of which may cause people to be brought to civil or even criminal courts; furthermore, some of the information collected would therefore qualify as sensitive data under Article 8 of Directive 95/46 which requires stronger safeguards."
  3. "the monitoring is likely to trigger many cases of false positives. Copyright infringement is not a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. Often Courts have to examine a very significant quantity of technical and legal detail over dozens of pages in order to determine whether there is an infringement."
  4. "the potential effects of the monitoring, which could result in disconnection of Internet access. This would interfere with individuals' right to freedom of expression, freedom of information and access to culture, e-Government applications, marketplaces, email, and, in some cases, with work-related activities. ...the effects will be felt not only on the alleged infringer, but all the family relatives that use the same Internet connection, including school children who use the Internet for their school activities.  
  5. "the fact that the entity making the assessment and taking the decision will typically be a private entity (i.e. the copyright holders or the ISP)." These may include "areas that are in principle under the competence of law enforcement authorities."
Hustinx goes on to state that "less intrusive means for achieving the same purpose exist" and should be considered. The European Data Protection Supervisor favors public and transparent dialogue on ACTA. 

Click here to read the "Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the current negotiations by the European Union of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."

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