ECHR rules UK GCHQ violated privacy of two foreign nationals

12/09/2023 | Privacy International

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that two foreign nationals living overseas had their privacy violated by the mass surveillance programme run by the UK's intelligence, security and cyber agency, GCHQ. The two plaintiffs, Joshua Wieder and Claudio Guarnieri believed that their communications were intercepted by GCHQ as part of its bulk interception of data. Despite being refused the right to seek redress in Britain, they took their case to Strasbourg, where the ECHR found a violation based on a broader 2021 ruling against the UK's historic practice of intercepting and collecting vast amounts of data.

Dr Ilia Siatitsa, Programme Director and Senior Legal Officer for Privacy International, said: "This judgment signifies a significant milestone for the safeguarding of privacy and the enjoyment of human rights in the digital era. The ever-expanding capabilities of technology have empowered states to spy far beyond their traditional borders, granting them unprecedented access to individuals’ information and lives. States can no longer assume digital surveillance comes without consequences or that they can evade accountability by targeting people outside their borders. Today’s ruling from the European Court of Human Rights emphatically underscores that security and intelligence agencies must be held responsible for the effects of their actions no matter where they occur."

Additional reporting in the Financial Times (£).

Read Full Story
European Court of Human Rights, ECHR

What is this page?

You are reading a summary article on the Privacy Newsfeed, a free resource for DPOs and other professionals with privacy or data protection responsibilities helping them stay informed of industry news all in one place. The information here is a brief snippet relating to a single piece of original content or several articles about a common topic or thread. The main contributor is listed in the top left-hand corner, just beneath the article title.

The Privacy Newsfeed monitors over 300 global publications, of which more than 4,350 summary articles have been posted to the online archive dating back to the beginning of 2020. A weekly roundup is available by email every Friday.

Freevacy has been shortlisted in the Best Educator category.
The PICCASO Privacy Awards recognise the people making an outstanding contribution to this dynamic and fast-growing sector.