The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted on Tuesday for a draft regulation that aims to significantly expand the mandate for Europol.
If the MPs have their way, the police authority will in future be able to receive, save and evaluate data from companies such as Facebook and Google as well as from third countries on a large scale. In general, the competencies of European investigators are also to be expanded to carry out big data analyzes and to train algorithms for them.
Voted for the initiative According to reports, 47 parliamentarians, including from the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), the liberal Renew Group and the Social Democrats. 16 people were against it, including members of the Greens and the Left.
Request data without prior approval
According to the decision, Europol detectives will in future be allowed to do so always request data without prior approvalif this is necessary for an investigation. National partners such as the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) should also no longer need a judge’s license to access data from Europol: the authorities in The Hague want to allow the MPs to make their own entries in special police information systems of the EU and the member states.
EU data protection officer Wojciech Wiewiorowski reprimanded Europol last year for illegally hoarding too much information and analyzing it using biometric recognition systems and “digital forensics” methods. The authority is also violating the privacy of innocent people such as contact persons and witnesses. The principle of data economy must be properly applied. The new regulation would largely make this criticism obsolete.
Wiewiorowski warned in a statement on the proposal that planned exceptions to existing data protection rules would in fact become the rule. The committee subsequently added that Draft by the EU Commission At least additional safeguards that relate, for example, to obligations relating to transparency, accountability, impact assessments and audits before the introduction of new technologies.
The green Saskia Bricmont complained anywaythat the reform raises many fundamental rights concerns. Europol would be given greater powers without independent control, and illegal practices would be legalized. Parliament has yet to confirm the committee position in plenary, which is a matter of form. Negotiations can then begin with the Commission and the Council of Ministers, which intends to further upgrade Europol.