Dutch privacy watchdog wants answers on US data mining

The Dutch privacy watchdog CBP has called on the European Union to demand America explain why its security service is mining information on non-Americans from nine major technology firms, including Google, Apple and Facebook.

The practice is a ‘giant infringement’ of privacy, CBP chief Jacob Kohnstamm is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

‘I am writing to European Commissioner Viviane Reding today,’ Kohnstamm, who is also deputy chairman of the European privacy regulatory authority, said.

According to the Washington Post: ‘The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.’

‘The Americans say they are only studying non-Americans. That worries me,’ Kohnstamm said. Checking up on people who are under suspicion of terrorist offences is one thing but if officials are carrying out wider checks this would be ‘very serious’, the watchdog official said.

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