A report to the 2015 Amsterdam Privacy Conference has called on telecommunications and Internet companies facing surveillance by governments to adopt the Global Network Initiative’s international standards-based best practices for the ICT sector. 

The report – “Privacy Bridges – EU and US Privacy Experts in Search of Trans-Atlantic Privacy Solutions” – recommends a ten-part privacy agenda for the US and Europe, including the use of GNI’s principles by companies on both sides of the Atlantic to develop a framework for assessing and responding to government requests.

Developed by 19 EU and US privacy experts, the report calls on trans-Atlantic policy makers create more structures for dialogue and information exchange on evolving challenges to privacy.

The experts recommend that all ICT companies to establish uniform internal practices for handling government requests – regardless of jurisdiction, citizenship and data location. They further recommend that companies promote transparency by issuing public reports on practices relating to government access on a regular basis – including the legal basis for such requests, and, as far as possible, when they have mounted legal challenges in response.

GNI members Deirdre Mulligan from the University of California Berkley, and Nuala O’Conner from the Center for Democracy and Technology were among the 19 experts and contributed to this report.

The full Privacy Bridges report can be accessed here. The recommendations that relate to GNI’s principles are found on pages 30-31.