Committee of Ministers

Council of Europe alerts governments on risks of digital tracking and surveillance


Council of Europe alerts governments on risks of digital tracking and surveillance

Strasbourg, 12.06.2013 – The Council of Europe today alerted its 47 member states to the risks of digital tracking and other surveillance technologies for human rights, the rule of law and democracy, and recalled the need to ensure their legitimate use.

In a Declaration issued to governments, the Committee of Ministers say that legislation allowing for overly broad surveillance of citizens can challenge their privacy and have a chilling effect on their freedom of expression and the freedom of the media.

The Committee recall that tracking and surveillance measures by law enforcement authorities should comply with the Council of Europe’s human rights standards set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. Such measures should also strictly respect the limits, requirements and safeguards set out in the Data Protection Convention 108.

The Declaration also draws attention to the criminal law implications of unlawful surveillance and tracking and to the relevance of the Budapest convention on Cybercrime to address this challenge.
Finally, the Committee also encourages states to introduce suitable export controls to prevent the misuse of technology to undermine human rights standards.
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