Open Letter on the dangers of using deep packet inspection

Today, 15 May 2019, European Digital Rights (EDRi) along with other 45 civil society organizations, academics and private actors from 15 different countries, including Homo Digitalis, sent an open letter to European legislators informing them on the dangers resulting from the extensive use of deep packet inspection technology.

This technology has significant potential for intrusion into user privacy, but mobile operators continue to use it to investigate the content of our communications and to collect information such as the applications we use and the material we see on the internet. By extending zero-rating to almost all EU Member States (except two), companies use this technology to provide packets that give access to only specific services and service providers ( e.g. packets for exclusively Internet use for specific social networking platforms etc).

You can learn more about the open letter in the relevant EDRi article and see the full text here.

Concept Note to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Children

Today, Homo Digitalis responding to the invitation of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (‘CRC’) submitted Concept Note on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment.

The note will be used by the CRC in the adoption of the General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment.

You can read the note in English here.

Homo Digitalis submits a memorandum on the Personal Data Draft Law

On Tuesday 26 February 2019 Homo Digitalis, as a follow-up to the meeting with the Special Regulatory Committee of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights for the Draft Law on Personal Data, submitted a memorandum containing proposals to the Committee.

Homo Digitalis argued for the adaptation of provisions on the Draft Law for Personal Data, enabling civil society organizations to support citizen’s rights, according to Article 80, paragraph GDPR.

You can read the whole memorandum in Greek here.

Homo Digitalis files a petition to the Greek Parliament concerning the use of the “IBORDERCTRL” system in the Greek borders

On the 5th of November, Homo Digitalis filed a petition to the Greek Parliament (protocol number: 4661) concerning the use of the “IBORDERCTRL” system at the Greek borders, posing specific questions to the responsible Minister.

According to the official page of the European Commission and the one of the “IBORDERCTRL” for the pilot application of this system in Greece, which was funded by the H2020 program with the amount of 4.501.877 euros, the system will be used in the Greek borders with Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Turkey in pedestrians, cars, buses, train passengers and merchandise trains that cross these borders.

For the first 3 categories responsible will be KE.ME.A, which is surveilled by the Minister of Public Safety.  As for the other 2 categories KE.ME.A will be responsible in cooperation with ΤΡΑΙΝΟΣΕ.ΑΕ, which is now a limited liability company belonging to the Italian group Ferreovie dello Stato Italiane Group.

The system IBORDERCTRL is known to be able to identify false statements of the passengers based on their facial expressions. However the 10 documents that evaluate the technical specifications of this system (Requirement Analysis Report, Reference Architecture and components specifications, Data Collection Devices – specification, First version of all technological tools and subsystems, Second version of all technological tools and subsystems for integration, First version of the iBorderCtrl software platform, Second version of the iBorderCtrl software platform, Integration Plan, Early version of the integrated prototype και Experimental Design for Pilot Deployment and Evaluation) remain strictly confidential.

As a result, it is impossible for the scientific experts to inspect and confirm the claims of the developers of this system. Therefore, its credibility and reliability cannot be proven.

Moreover, all the research concerning its progress and development (Periodic Progress Report, Annual Report, Periodic Progress Report 2, Annual Report 2) also remain confidential, fact that makes the inspection of its technical specifications impossible.

Finally, all the files of legal and ethics evaluation also remain confidential (Ethics advisor’s first report, Ethics of profiling, the risk of stigmatization of individuals and mitigation plan, Ethics Advisor, EU wide legal and ethical review report) thus nobody can confirm if that system is compatible with the legislation of the European Union.

Specifically, it is impossible to control and inspect if there is a specific notice for the subject of the data concerning the right of reassurance of human interference, the right of expressing an opinion, the right to claim the reasoning of the decision made from the evaluation of the system IBORDERCTRL and the right to challenge that decision.

Furthermore, due to the confidential character of the legal and ethics evaluation research, there is no guarantee that the system IBOREDERCTRL doesn’t conclude in a decision based on personality traits parameters, which are naturally sensitive concerning the fundamental rights and liberties according to the articles 10 and 11 of the Directive 2016/680 and the terms established by the Articles 21 and 52 of the EU Fundamental Rights Charter.

Therefore, the European citizens payed 4.501.877 euros for this system via the H2020 program having zero access to its technical specifications to control the credibility of the system, nor can they confirm if its use is actually legal as access to any legal review is confidential as we mentioned above.

On the contrary, according to the European Commission website, the entities that participated may gain the amount of 118 billion euros due to the technical know-how that they provided and the growing market of the border security systems.

You can see the whole content of our Report and our questions to the Minister in charge in Greek HERE.

Homo Digitalis submits a report to the Greek Parliament for the negotiations concerning ePrivacy

On 23/10/18 in the context of the negotiations for the reform of the established legislature (Directive 2002/58/EC) with regard to the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in digital communications, Homo Digitalis submitted a report to the President and the Vice-Presidents of the Greek Parliament, posing specific questions to the responsible Minister.

The questions as they were submitted in the report:

    1. Given the growing importance of the principles of protection of privacy already from the design and the protection of private life from scratch for the security of the integrity and credibility of digital communication, the Greek Government supports the adaptation of these principles in the text of the proposed European regulation for the protection of private life in digital communications?
    2. Given the important decisions taken by the Court of the European Union concerning the retention of data produced or being subjected to processing in light of the provision of available ones to the public of the services of digital communication —(ECJ, Joint cases C-293/12 and C-594/12, Digital Rights and others, 8 April 2014, and ECJ, Joint cases C-203/15 and C-698/15, Tele2 Sverige AB v. Post- och telestyrelsen and UK Home Office v. Tom Watson and others, 21 December 2016)—-, the Greek Government vouches to oppose in any kind of reform of the text of the proposed European Regulation,  which will diverge from these decisions?
    3. Given the need of a common legal framework, which will regulate with clarity the private data processing and the protection of privacy in digital communications, the Greek Government believes that the creation of 2 different and diverge legal frameworks for communications, one that will regulate the communications having an impartation role and a second which will regulate communications stored inside the companies providing digital communication services, consists a correct approach of the legal issues that may derive?
    4. Finally, given the need of the creation of a special legal system which will empower the provisions of the GDPR and will provide with enhanced protection concerning the private data processing and the protection of privacy in digital communications, does the Greek Government guarantee for the fast finalization of the negotiable text of the European Regulation for the protection of privacy in digital communications?

Homo Digitalis encourages the Greek Parliament members to adopt this Report.

At the same day Homo Digitalis submitted a letter to the Minister of Justice, Mr. M. Kalogirou.

You can see the full content of the Report in Greek HERE.

Report on the right to privacy in the digital age

On 23 March 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted resolution 34/7 on “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”. Subsequently, the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a request to all stakeholders to submit their inputs on the aforementioned right.

The present report was drafted for this scope and was submitted in English to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 4 April 2018. The report will soon be also published in the website of the High Commissioner.

The report focuses on encryption and anonymity as enablers for the enjoyment of the freedom of expression, as well as the regulatory framework in Greece that provides for the retention of electronic communications’ metadata.

Download the report

Report on the right to Privacy in the Digital Age, submitted to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights