Historically, European authorities have taken a more aggressive approach toward protecting consumers’ privacy than their counterparts in the United States, and it looks like they’ve at it again. A top EU official took the occasion of Data Privacy Day to outline her plans to modernize Europe’s laws to deal with emerging digital technologies like social networks and the impact they have on users’ privacy.
It just so happens that Europe’s not alone. eSecurity Planet takes a look at the privacy fights that are shaping up on both sides of the Atlantic.
A top European official has announced plans to begin a major overhaul of European Union privacy laws, saying that the existing framework has failed to keep pace with technological innovation.
Viviane Reding, the EU’s Information Society and Media commissioner, said Thursday that she seeks to modernize the general privacy directive the EU has had in place since 1995, singling out social networks and RFID tracking tags as examples of technologies that have vaulted ahead of current statutes.
In a statement, Reding warned of the uncertainty — both for consumers and businesses — that will come as technology falls out of sync with the EU’s legal framework.
“EU rules are there to protect everyone’s personal data,” Reding said. “EU rules should allow everyone to realize their right to know when their personal data can be lawfully processed, in any area of life, whether boarding a plane, opening a bank account or surfing the Internet, and to say no to it whenever they want.”