Europe Moves to Protect Online Privacy –

5 Feb

The Netherlands is considering a bill that would require Internet users to consent to being tracked as they travel from Web site to Web site. And last month, the European Commission unveiled a sweeping new privacy law that would require Web companies to obtain explicit consent before using personal information, inform regulators and users in the event of a data breach and, most radical, empower a citizen of Europe to demand that his or her data be deleted forever.

“Europe has come to the conclusion that none of the companies can be trusted,” said Simon Davies, the director of the London-based nonprofit Privacy International. “The European Commission is responding to public demand. There is a growing mood of despondency about the privacy issue.”

Every European country has a privacy law, as do Canada, Australia and many Latin American countries. The United States remains a holdout: We have separate laws that protect our health records and financial information, and even one that keeps private what movies we rent. But there is no law that spells out the control and use of online data.

via Europe Moves to Protect Online Privacy –


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