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Reading: The Transformation of Privacy in an Era of Pre-emptive Surveillance


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The Transformation of Privacy in an Era of Pre-emptive Surveillance


Valsamis Mitsilegas

Professor of European Criminal Law, Director of the Criminal Justice Centre Head of the Department of Law, Queen Mary University, London
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The aim of this article is to analyse the main elements of the emergent system of pre-emptive surveillance at a global scale and to assess the consequences of such a system for the protection of privacy. Firstly, the article will provide an analysis of pre-emptive surveillance practices as projected by US and EU law, focusing on the collection and exchange of every day passenger data (PNR), financial data (under the TFTP Programme) and mobile telecommunications data. After this mapping of pre-emptive surveillance practices, a critical overview of the impact of these practices on privacy will follow. Thereafter, the article will critically evaluate the legal responses that have been primarily developed in EU law in order to address the privacy challenges posed by pre-emptive surveillance. The aim is to highlight the transformation of the right to privacy by judiciaries in Europe in order to counter generalised, massive pre-emptive surveillance in the EU, the US and globally.
How to Cite: Mitsilegas V, ‘The Transformation of Privacy in an Era of Pre-emptive Surveillance’ (2015) 20 Tilburg Law Review 35 DOI:
Published on 17 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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