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Submission + - The Overlooking of EU's Data Protection Laws

An anonymous reader writes: There's an old European Commission data protection directive that is now officially implemented in all European Union's member states' laws that seems to be rather neglected as of late, both by national data protection commissioners (who are supposed to supervise data controllers) and by the citizens themselves who seem to swallow everything that American companies claim to be their rights.

I've tried to alert as many citizens of the European Union for this as I can, but it seems like people aren't even willing to read on the subject and I never get to talk to those who care. That's why I'm here on Slashdot, hoping that the editors can read the evidence and help me bring this issue to light.

A lot of things have been happening lately that worry me greatly. They worry me because companies are blatantly walking over my privacy rights, but they also worry me because business models are being built with bases on illegal transgressions that aren't brought to justice because nobody seems to be aware of the law, which can result in the effective loss of privacy rights in the future once they get in the way of corporate interests due to apathy.

What I am referring to, more specifically, are draconian "phone home" DRM schemes that completely ignore Directive 95/46/EC despite the fact that Directive 2001/29/EC which would otherwise protect copyright owners against circumventions to protective measures, states in Article 9 that it only applies without prejudice to data protection and privacy (example: Ubisoft's DRM). When one is required to connect to a server every time they want to play a single-player game which main scope does not require a connection to the Internet we can safely speak of excessive processing of personal data without the data subject's consent for purposes outside of the main scope of the service.

Another issue that's emerging is with companies tying online social services to other services without even giving their customers the choice to opt-out. This is wrong because it can be considered bundling under Article 102 of the European Commission Treaty as these companies are using their dominant position in the market to thwart competition in other sectors on top of excessively processing personal data without the data subject's consent as defined in Articles 2(h) and 7 of Directive 95/46/EC (example: Activision Blizzard's plans for battle.net). This case is a particularity of the case mentioned in the previous paragraph in that it attempts to justify the requirement to be traceable online with the bundled mandatory social networking component.

What I want is to raise awareness to this subject, ask all citizens of the European Union to stand for our rights before we end up losing them, and direct people to their national data protection commissioners where they can report local distributors or service providers for abuse in these situations.

My opinion seems to be consistent with WP 37 and WP 136, so if you wish to challenge it, please read those documents first.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid