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e-Evidence: Member States Fail to Ease Citizen and Business Concerns on Data Seizure

BRUSSELS – 7 DECEMBER 2018 – Today’s decision by the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to approve a ‘General Approach’ on the draft e-Evidence Regulation risks undermining the protection of citizens and enterprise data across Europe. BSA | The Software Alliance, representing the global software industry, is deeply concerned that the Council’s final text severely limits the ability for businesses to scrutinize, assess and challenge judicial orders. This will not only pave the way for easier data access by law enforcement, but also increases the risk of fundamental rights abuses. In line with the position of the eight dissenting EU member states, BSA urges EU law makers to add additional safeguards to challenge unlawful orders.

“This is a disappointing text, clearly in conflict with the European Commission’s initial and promising proposal. We seriously doubt that the Council’s approach will deliver upon the initial goal of an effective law enforcement procedure. We need to be able to properly protect our customers’ data from abusive production orders,” said Thomas Boué, Director General – Policy, EMEA.

Additionally, the approach taken by Member States lacks the needed clarifications on liability while simultaneously introducing a disproportionate sanctions regime (2% of annual global turnover) for companies that fail to disclose data.

“BSA member companies need stronger liability clarifications in this future legal framework. Exposure and risk for companies which handle cross-border data can be very high. Clear and predictable measures is a perquisite for a workable solution. We now call on the European Parliament to help produce a balanced text that will allow law enforcement to do its job but also provide the necessary safeguards for business and citizens,” added Boué.


BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


Michael O’Brien

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