Responding to an article in the Irish Times (29/03/16) which warned of loss of trade in the Digital Economy, if the European Court of Justice (ECJ) finds against mass bulk data collection, Ms. Anderson stated:
“The interests of the Digital Economy should not take precedence over the rights of citizens as the sole focus in this instance. A citizen’s fundamental right to have their personal privacy protected should be the chief concern.
“The stark fact is that; ‘The Privacy Shield Agreement’, proposed by the EU Commission, is an insult to citizens across Europe, whose privacy rights would be further eroded by this proposal.
“The agreement includes no legally binding protections, but instead, merely proposes the creation of an independent but powerless ombudsman, who would assess citizens’ complaints.
“As a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, I find it highly improbable that an Ombudsman would have sufficient powers to oversee US intelligence services.
“As Republicans we know first-hand the destructive, malevolent and negative role that Intelligence Agencies play. That is why it is imperative that strong and meaningful legal protections are put in place, in order to ensure that all citizens’ personal data is legally protected.
“For citizens’ rights to be protected and for the digital economy to function effectively, it is crucial that a robust and enforceable system be put in place in order to protect all parties concerned.
“I will continue to ensure such matters are prioritised and vocalised in my role as an MEP on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. And we will ensure that our TD’s highlight the implications of such an agreement for Irish citizens in the Dáil.”