A warning that
new access for Europol to personal data could lead to individuals being
labelled as terror suspects based on hearsay or records of their shopping
The warning, from
the head of the European Data Protection supervisor, comes amid moves to allow
the EU police agency to process so-called “soft data” in search of
relevant information for its criminal investigations.
said that moves to give Europol the power to gather intelligence on
“people who have not (yet) committed a crime” are without privacy
He told The Daily
Telegraph: “The proposal does not specify what data could be used in
criminal investigations. It could be everything. It could be a vital detail
such as an insurance company about a stolen car. But it could also be soft
data, behavioural data.”
could include statements of hearsay given to a local police force or data on
personal shopping habits from a supermarket loyalty card, he said.
Under the new
Europol rules, expected to be agreed by governments later this year, people
will be unable to find out what information is held on them unless all
27 EU police forces unanimously grant permission.
He said that
individuals could easily be identified as suspects, giving the example of
someone seen standing next to a terror suspect at a bus stop and becoming
labelled “a facilitator for terrorism”.
This comes despite assurances from a succession Ministers in the UK that our data will not be shared with anyone else.
Whatever they tell you today, you can be sure it will be used for something different tomorrow.