Online privacy: “If EU allows right to be forgotten, it’s war,” says US

05 Feb, 2013

A US diplomat said at a conference in Berlin that “things could really explode”, and that a “trade war” could erupt if the EU pushes ahead with its plans to offer citizens the “right to be forgotten”.

In January 2012, the Commission presented draft regulation to reform EU data protection rules. This would introduce a single data protection law for all EU member states – and it would also apply to US companies that process personal data from EU citizens.

The draft regulation offers a ‘right to be forgotten’ online, and would enable citizens to force companies like Google or Facebook to delete personal data about them. Not only would services like Google and Facebook have to delete the data “without delay”, they would also have to “take all reasonable steps” to inform others who have republished the data to delete them.

The move obviously hurts mostly US internet giants like Google, Bing, Facebook and Twitter. Data protection and privacy is becoming an issue between the US and Europe. Only last week there were concerns about the US government’s easy access to private data stored on US cloud services by European organizations and individuals.

[The Register][photo: katerha, Flickr]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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