The European Data Protection Supervisor has called for a ban on the spyware tool Pegasus to protect people’s fundamental rights.

Last July, an international investigation revealed that the spyware, developed by tech company NSO Group, could have been used by governments across the world, including in Poland and Hungary, to hack the phones of journalists, activists and politicians.

In a statement, the EDPS, which enforces privacy rules concerning EU institutions, said it was „highly unlikely“ that the spyware could meet the requirements of proportionality.

„The EDPS believes that a ban on the development and the deployment of spyware with the capability of Pegasus in the EU would be the most effective option to protect our fundamental rights and freedoms,“ according to the statement, which comes as the European Parliament discusses use of the spyware.

The EDPS said that if governments do use Pegasus, they should apply eight steps, including strengthening democratic oversight over surveillance measures and strictly applying EU privacy rules.

Last week, MEPs said they would set up an inquiry committee into the use of the technology.

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