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European Policy, Free Expression, Privacy & Data

CDT Europe Leads Civil Society Open Letter on the Regulation of Political Advertising: EU Lawmakers Must Uphold Human Rights to Privacy and Free Expression

The Centre for Democracy & Technology (CDT Europe) joined 26 other organizations in urging EU lawmakers to establish strong rules for political advertising by retaining a clear focus on paid advertising that does not interfere with the right to free expression, data protection or privacy.

From the letter:

As academic and civil society research and campaigns have made clear, targeting people with messages based on sensitive data on their tracked behaviour and perceived traits threatens privacy, free expression, and freedom from discrimination. It can also undermine the right to freely form an opinion which can have a serious negative impact on election integrity; such tactics should have no place in human rights respecting democracies. Now, however, a “non-paper” from the European Commission Services, leaked by Contexte and Politico, indicates a strong desire among some negotiators to soften these data protection rules, including allowing the use of especially sensitive categories of personal data such as ethnicity, religious belief or information on gender or sexual orientation in the targeting of political advertising.

This proposal goes against what the majority of people want.

Read the full letter + list of signatories here.