Imagine if your mom and dad didn't trust each other. Imagine if they spied on each other, and hired private investigators, and tapped each other's phone calls. They'd yell and fight, and the kids would be unhappy.
Then, into the house came a woman, saying she was from Brussels, and she could fix things. She said we needed fair rules to re-build trust. Everyone listened.
She said we needed the following rules: the children should never be allowed out of the house, except to go to school, since no other place could be trusted. She said that the children should never use Twitter or Facebook, since they couldn't be trusted. She said that the children could only play games that had been pre-approved by their teachers or parents, since other games couldn't be trusted. She said the children needed discipline, and severe sanctions if they ever violated these rules.
She said that the only way to re-build trust between the parents, and to stop their spying on each other, was to impose these stern rules on the children.
Everyone sat quietly for a moment. Then I said: "isn't it unfair to punish kids for our parents fighting with each other?" She said: "be quiet, child, I'm sick of your lobbying."
After a few more moments of silence, the parents both said: "look, we're adults. This is our problem. We need to work it out between ourselves. Our children have nothing to do with this. Get out of our house, now! "
As she walked towards the door, the woman from Brussels turned to us children and said: "You wicked little things. Unless you are subject to strict supervision, your parents will never trust each other again, and it's all your fault!"
Editor's note: if you don't get the point of my little story, please read this expert commentary by Mr Jeppesen:
"...the E.U. Data Protection Regulation (DPR) was first proposed in 2012. Unfortunately, government surveillance issues cannot be solved by this legislation....it would not regulate E.U. Member States' national security intelligence programs, nor would it address the surveillance programs of the United States. The European Parliament and the European Commission simply do not have the authority to address national security matters... The only path forward for true reform around global surveillance practices is a much harder slog. It will require a joint European-U.S. effort to find agreement on proper legal standards and safeguards."