We asked the U.K. Ambassador to Austria, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, to tell us what differences she sees between British and Austrian views on privacy.


19 January 2016

Dear Metropole,
ensuring we can both protect our privacy and keep our countries safe is a challenge the UK, Austria and many other nations face today. Privacy and data protection are big concerns for all of us, even if there are some cultural differences in the way we approach these issues. In the UK, for example, many people believe that CCTV makes us safer: Austrians regard it as intrusive. Similarly, a central citizens’ registry is uncontroversial in Austria, but would be viewed with suspicion in Britain.

Despite these differences, I am pleased that we’ve made progress on the EU’s new and harmonized data protection framework, which both our governments have approved. It will put more power in the hands of citizens and will introduce real sanctions for violations of privacy. We must continue to work together on these significant issues, ensuring that we balance security and privacy concerns as we do so.

With very best wishes for 2016,
Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque