Following a six month enquiry, MEP’s announced that the US could risk losing the European Parliament’s approval of the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal if the National Security Agency does not cease its blanket mass surveillance.
Additionally, it was declared that the “Safe Harbour” privacy principles should be suspended immediately. In light of the revelations about US NSA surveillance, these voluntary principles aimed at companies transferring EU citizen’s data to The US were judged insufficient in protecting EU citizens. The US was urged to present new regulations regarding personal data transfer that would meet EU standards of data protection.
The text also included calls for initiatives to protect EU whistle-blowers, an EU based cloud computing system and IT solutions, and calls for the halt of The Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) until further clarification is provided regarding the extent of US government access to EU citizen bank data outside the agreed parameters.
The resolution to promote EU citizen privacy was backed 544 voted to 78, with 60 abstentions. This vote falls in the context of the reform of the EU’s data protection rules, which are expected to conclude with revisions of the Data Protection Directive among others by the end of this year.