Data Privacy Day 2021: A Reminder for the EU Council

Today is Data Privacy Day. This annual observance was established by the Council of Europe to raise awareness for data protection and to draw attention to the dangers of a decrease in online privacy.

Since the Data Privacy Day’s inception back in 2007, a myriad of startling privacy incidents has demonstrated over and over how vulnerable our privacy is and how easily it can be invaded on the Internet.

As a welcome consequence of these incidents, the notion that privacy is also worth protecting if one has “nothing to hide” gradually gains ground. The massive influx of users Threema currently experiences due to the controversy surrounding WhatsApp’s privacy policy is a testament to the mindset shift many Internet users make.

Now that more and more Internet users exercise their right to privacy by using encrypted services like Threema, the EU Council suddenly questions this fundamental right by proposing to deliberately weaken the encryption of secure Internet services.

In a joint statement, we, together with ProtonMail, Tresorit, and Tutanota, outline why this proposal is not only misguided but also counterproductive and dangerous, and we ask the EU Council to adhere to the spirit of the Data Privacy Day and acknowledge the importance of privacy for democracy:

Reminder for the EU Council (PDF)