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Lobbyplag shows: Austria is for EU data protection

We are entering the crucial phase for the EU data protection regulations, as the details are now being worked out by the EU Parliament and Council in Brussels. But what influence did lobbyists have on the coming EU data protection regulations? To find out, data journalists from Open Data City founded LobbyPlag

together with the Viennese student group europe-v-facebook.org. The goal of the project is to make the EU lawmaking process transparent.

To this end, the team has analyzed over 3100 bills and prepared them for the general public. Numerous charts at lobbyplag.eu now show which countries, parties and EU representatives sacrificed the privacy of their citizens` data for economic interests, and which countries argued for improvements in the planned EU regulations in order to create a stronger data protection regime.

Austria: pro data protection
This document clearly shows that there were more bills for stronger data protection in Austria. Lobbyplag identified a total of 193 bills in Austria. Of these, 100 were for stronger EU data protection, 57 for weaker EU data protection, and the rest fell into the category "neutral."

The SPÖ representatives Josef Weidenholzer and Evelyn Regner were also named the top two representatives who submitted the most bills targeted at stronger data protection. Hubert Pirker from the ÖVP and Ewald Stadler from the BZÖ were at the other end of the ranking. The Lobbyplag analysis also shows that Stadler`s bills did not always follow the official party line, which reads: "With regards to data protection, the EU must be on the side of the citizen, and not on the side of foreign intelligence services or economic interests."

SPÖ representative Weidenholzer is in fact one of the most active politicians who is fighting for stronger EU data protection regulations. He again warned of the weakening of the reform this week: "The data protection measures that we have negotiated in the committee on internal affairs gives us the unique opportunity to adapt the existing data protection regulations from 1995 to contemporary needs, and to set new global standards."

Country overview
The country overview shows that Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Hungary and Belgium submitted more bills that would water down or weaken the EU data protection regulations. The EU representatives from Austria, Germany, France, Bulgaria and Greece submitted more bills that would strengthen data privacy in the Europe.
In the EU-wide ranking of politicians, Jan Philipp Albrecht is ahead of Cornelia Ernst and Josef Weidenholzer in leading the group that has submitted the most bills for strong data protection.

The 30-year-old Albrecht reports on the data protection regulations in the European Parliament`s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). In a

Albrecht recently explained why the reform is so important: "The reform of the EU data regulations will shape our everyday lives. It will determine what information is saved about us in what form, and the rights that we will have when we want to know what happens with our data on the Internet, for example."

EU Council in session
Lobbyplag plans to publish further details later in the day. The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council is also meeting today, Thursday, in Brussels to discuss the data regulations reform, which

the data protection regulations to a level below that from 1995. In the Council, and in deviation from the Lobbyplag list for the parliamentary representatives, especially Austria, Sweden and France have spoken out for stronger EU data protection and against the current proposal for general data retention.

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