Human Rights in Finance.EU supports Privacy Manifest

This week a coalition of Privacy Supporting Parties published the ‘Privacy Manifest‘ to parliament in the Netherlands. The initiators and co-sgners stress the need to fundamentally rethink how we do things in the area of privacy.

“The Dutch ambition to become a digital frontrunner must also be translated into legislation and regulations. In addition, it is the task of the government to create Public awareness, provide information and stimulate a social dialogue. And by actively encouraging the availability of sufficient digital alternatives, so that no citizen unintentionally has to hand over their data.”

Human Rights in Finance.EU has been vetted to co-sign this Privacy Manifesto, considering the work that our founder Simon Lelieveldt has done, both visibly and in his professional role, to use legal measures to enforce a better respect of authorities and law enforcers for Human Rights.

In an assignment for a client that had to abide with money laundering rules, Simon Lelieveldt was the acting compliance manager that faced the wicked dilemma to advise to violate the GDPR in order to keep his client in business (as the financial supervisor was threathing to shut down the company if a completely unnecessary measure was not taken). Using the GDPR he was able to quickly bring the case to administrative court which in the end lead the supervisor DNB, to retract the requirement (but only for this one company, not extending it to industry).

A well written summary of the case can be found here. And the company website is here outlining that it is a bad thing it had to go to court to force a respect for human rights. Legislation should be consistent and proportional in itself and not contain an upfront obligation to perform mass privacy violations based on the lack of analytical rigour and proportionality in the legislative process:

That is not all however

But more has been happening behind the screens. It turned out the central bank did not have its own privacy policy in order for 2 years and was illegally processing personal data of clients of crypto-companies that it had under its supervision. Also, the central bank was using a bitcoin analysis company which had terms and condition that did not suit the GDPR and EU legal context. So not only did it not have the legitimacy to process the data, it also sent them to the US without any knowledge of the data subjects at hand.

The above developments and the recent conviction of the Dutch tax Authority, a part of the Ministry of Finance, for violating fundamental human rights, discriminating on nationality against citizens, blocking their funds and access to courts for many years, demonstrate the need for our foundation to be(come) a voice and (legal) force in this domain.

HRIF.EU cannot sit by and see legislation being drafted that outright violates human rights or forces companies to violate those rights.