The Article 29 Working Party has released a statement on encryption policy. The Working Party stated "strong and efficient encryption is a necessity in order to guarantee the protection of individuals with regard to the confidentiality and integrity of their data which are the elementary underpinning of the digital economy." The Working Party found that "backdoors and master keys deprive encryption of its utility and cannot be used in a secure manner. Any obligation aiming at reducing the effectiveness of those techniques in order to allow law enforcement access to encrypted data could seriously harm the privacy of European citizens." The Working Party is a group of leading privacy officials in the European that often issues reports and opinions on emerging privacy issues. Under the GDPR, the Working Party will become the European Data Protection Board with new legal authorities. Communications services with escrow encryption, and other similar techniques, could be prohibited under the GDPR. EPIC began in April 1994 with the first internet petition, the campaign to stop the Clipper Chip, a key escrow encryption scheme developed by the NSA.
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