A European Parliament committee has proposed that all forms of digital communication should be end-to-end encrypted in order for all EU citizens to keep maintain their right to privacy.
The draft legislation – from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – aims to amend Article 7 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. This Article says that EU citizens have a right to personal privacy, as well as that of their families and lives behind closed doors.
“The principle of confidentiality should apply to current and future means of communication, including calls, internet access, instant messaging applications, e-mail, internet phone calls and messaging provided through social media,” the draft proposal reads.
The committee argues the importance of the protection of any information delivered electronically, especially the data associated that could give insights into things such as location and people who have been contacted.
“Electronic communications may reveal highly sensitive information about the natural persons involved in the communication, from personal experiences to medical conditions, sexual preferences and political views… Metadata derived from electronic communications may also reveal sensitive and personal information,” the proposal continued.
“The protection of confidentiality of communications is also an essential condition for the respect of other related fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the protection of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of expression and information.”
The proposal also seeks to forbid the use of backdoors into encrypted content, which are used by law enforcement. This, more than anything, will get to governments who have urged communications companies to provide them with to encrypted communications ‘as required’.