Digital Civil Rights in Europe

Information and communication technologies (telephone, Internet, emails, blogs and social networks) make daily life and relationships with our relatives, friends or even strangers easier. Young people and young adults make a particularly intense use of them. However, unless we are careful, they can lead us to hand over excessive amounts of our personal data, facilitating surveillance of our private lives. Protection of personal data is crucial for the respect for privacy. The European Union has established a legislative and regulatory framework which aims at ensuring the protection of citizens’ personal data as one of their fundamental rights. What is the reality in practice and how can we protect ourselves on a daily basis?

The European project “Sensitization and information of young European citizens on the protection of their personal data” takes stock of the situation in nine EU countries (Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom) and on the European legislation. This 18-month project started in January 2009 and is funded by the “Fundamental Rights and Citizenship” programme of the European Commission. It is coordinated by the French League of Human Rights (LDH), in partnership with the European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (AEDH), European Digital Rights (EDRi), the Czech association Iuridicum Remedium (IuRe) and the Spanish association Comunicació per a la Cooperació (Pangea). The project aims at raising citizens’ awareness on the issue of privacy protection. Country reports, a comparative analysis of the various situations and an inventory of the legislation and practices in the EU are being produced for that purpose. They will come with recommendations to public authorities.

As for now, the project publicly releases a comic book “Under surveillance “it produced as an information and awareness tool for young adults.

Synopsis: In an unspecified European city, a group of young people works, studies, travels, publishes on forums and blogs, exchanges on social networks and meets at concerts… A “difficult” situation in the life of a young photo-journalist and his friends’ mobilization to help him out of this situation illustrate the breaches of personal data protection facilitated by the use of new technologies. The comic book underlines the consequences but also possible remedies. A glossary and links to useful websites come with the comic book.

The comic book “Under surveillance” is available in Catalan, Czech, English and French. Online versions are made available on the project partners’ websites. 20,000 hard copies are available in each language and are disseminated for free. AEDH and EDRI are disseminating the English versions. We invite organisations interested in contributing to this dissemination to get in touch with AEDH and EDRI. Those interested in the production of versions in other European languages must contact LDH, the project coordinator.

Contacts: EDRi (edrigram at edri dot org) AEDH (aedh at aedh dot eu) LDH (ldh at ldh-france dot org)

Press release: Personal data: a comic book to raise awareness among European young adults (7.04.2010)
http://www.edri.org/files/Press-release-edri-comic-book-privacy-under-…

Données personnelles : une bande dessinée à destination des jeunes adultes européens pour prendre conscience, s’informer et se protéger au quotidien (only in French, 7.04.2010)
http://www.edri.org/files/Communique-bande-dessinee-vie-privee-surveil…

Comic Book “Under Surveillance”
http://www.edri.org/files/Comic-Book-Under-surveillance-En.pdf
http://www.edri.org/files/Comic-Book-Cover-Under-surveillance-En.pdf

LDH France
http://www.ldh-france.org

EDRi
http://www.edri.org

AEDH
http://www.aedh.eu

IURE
http://www.iure.org

Pangea
http://www.pangea.org

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