The Pirate Party demands respect for anonymity and better protection of privacy. We reject and oppose methods such as casual surveillance, area monitoring of people, search by police without a good reason, and listening in to all telecommunications.
The prevailing mania of watching and checking everyone creates a climate of mistrust and fear that affects our society much more than international terrorism. Free society was fought for and won with the sacrifice of uncountable human lives. Just in the 20th century Czechoslovakia suffered under two different totalitarian regimes, both of which were based on atmosphere of fear and constant surveillance of citizens.
Technology these days makes it possible to collect much more personal information about our movements (toll, cell phones, city transport, chip cards) and our behaviour (cameras, spying on the Internet, payment cards, census surveys). These means should not be abused for spying, just because it is possible. Even though every step of the police surveillance might be creatively and persuasively explained, we as Europeans know from our own experience where this eventually leads to, and we really don't want to return there under any circumstances.
We propose the following principles to strengthen the privacy protection:
- Anonymity. We demand the right of anonymity. There must be guaranteed anonymity built into all apparatus used for watching people; following identifiable people should require their explicit voluntary agreement.
- Privacy. We may accept surveillance of citizens in a public space only in clearly defined cases and only at the necessary minimum level (goldsmith's, offices, car park etc.). People must be informed about the rules for using the collected personal information, maximum storage time and the deletion policy. We reject further exchange of the collected data, especially in automatic ways.
- Security. Centralized databases run by the state, e.g. health registry, are at risk of leaks and abuse of sensitive information. We demand that citizens must retain control of their personal information and that it must be properly secured.
- Safeguards against abuse. In addition, everyone who was specifically followed or had his/her data accessed by the state official(s) should be informed of these facts in due time.
In order to strengthen the privacy protection, we support the following actions that will help to reduce the levels of surveillance to an acceptable minimum:
- Prohibition of wide interception of communications. The European directive on storing data dictates watching and storing information about all telecommunications connections and also about movement of all cellphones. We, in cooperation with other European pirate parties, seek the abolishment of this directive.
- Prohibition of wide spying by cameras. Public spaces are full of cameras that allow watching movement, face identification, and connection with information about traffic without acceptable reasons for this kind of encroachment on privacy. In addition, studies show that the presence of cameras has minimum effect on criminality, or criminality simply moves to other places. This is why we support and prioritize police personnel moving from watching the cameras to walking the streets.
- Prohibition of checking of citizens and collecting information about them without a good cause. People have the right to personal safety and privacy. Thus we cannot allow “preventative” inspections, where citizens are stopped and checked without a tangible reason. This should happen only in cases of justifiable suspicion of violence or specific law violation.
- Prohibition of electronic and biological spying. Routine checks must not unreasonably interfere with privacy, so we reject “stripping” with help of electronic scanners, perusal of private data on electronic devices and other similar invasive procedures. We oppose wide biological material collection from innocent citizens and its storage in central databases.