The European Commission has started taking legal action over violations in privacy laws against Belgium. They claim that Belgium has failed to ensure that their privacy watchdog operates independently, which breaches the privacy rules set by the European Union.
Recently, it has come to light that the Belgium government has not been letting their privacy watchdog operate independently. The EU Commission is now taking the first step in legally holding Belgium responsible for breaching the EU’s set privacy rules.
The job of a watchdog is to overlook the activities of particular aspects within a government to ensure that all illegal acts are reported rightfully. If they do not work independently, there is bias involved, so it is a significant breach of privacy.
On Wednesday, the 9th of June 2021, the EU Commission officially took the first step to reprimand the Belgian government. An EU executive stated that: “Some of its members cannot be regarded as free from external influence because they either report to a management committee depending on the Belgian government.”
They also stated that this agency’s members are also taking part in governmental projects related to COVID-19 or working for the Information Security Committee.
Belgium has two months to set affairs in order
They will have to specifically let the commission know the measures they will take in ensuring the agency’s independence. The letter by the EU Commission is just the first step in a long process, which can ultimately result in the EU Court of Justice getting involved and impose penalties.