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Privacy is considered a right in the EU, and the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, wants the right to be more rigorously enforced, writes Stephen Gardner.

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SurveillanceThe European Commission July 20 published a review of European Union law enforcement systems and databases, as a first step in evaluating them to establish if they continue to fulfil a useful function and provide value to policing authorities, writes Stephen Gardner.

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ChipThe European Commission June 24 sent a warning to the United Kingdom, threatening a case at the European Court of Justice if the UK does not strengthen the powers of its data protection authority so that they comply with the European Union's Data Protection Directive, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The British government, which came into office May 11, has said it will scrap a scheme to introduce electronic identity cards in the United Kingdom, writes Stephen Gardner. The national identity register on which the identity cards were to be based is also to be scrapped.

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ChipThe European Parliament in February caused a "serious setback" to security cooperation between the European Union and the United States, writes Stephen Gardner. It vetoed an agreement between Brussels and Washington that would have allowed EU financial data to be transferred across the Atlantic.

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More taxpayer-funded handouts for big business in the guise of EU project spending, writes Stephen Gardner. Defence giant BAE Systems is sharing in £33 million of funding for research projects. BAE undoubtedly needs the money, having seen its 2008 profit of £1.8 billion plunge last year, partly because it had to pay enormous fines to settle corruption cases.

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ChipThe British Conservative party, the main opposition to the governing Labour Party, has written to the main IT vendors involved in developing the UK electronic identity card telling them that the eID scheme will be scrapped, should the Conservatives form the next British government, writes Stephen Gardner.

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India is to establish a system of unique identity numbers for all residents of the country, according to reports from the Indo-Asian News Service. The scheme could be the basis of a future electronic identity system for the 1.2 billion people of India, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Euro-correspondent.com has highlighted before the sometimes extraordinary steps taken by the EU Council to create, in Brussels-speak, a “European area of justice, freedom and security,” or in ordinary language, an area of snooping and monitoring, writes Stephen Gardner.

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European thinking about e-government has changed since the heady days when the priority was to e-enable existing services as quickly as possible. “There was a bit of hype during that period,” says Manuel Baptista, a consultant working on the European Commission’s eGovernment Observatory. “It was a new frontier. There was a big policy objective that we would move to a new era of e-government.”

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