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February 11, 2013

EU to fight any attempt to curb data protection law

Google, Facebook and Microsoft likely to face tougher regulations.

By CBR Staff Writer

The European Union (EU) is planning to fight against any move to dilute the proposed changes to a EU draft regulation which will force US tech companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft to follow a European standard across the world.

Google, Facebook and Microsoft are likely to face tougher regulations that may force them to adopt clearer or stronger privacy settings, and make them transparent about what they are doing with a user’s data.

EU commissioner for justice, Viviane Reding ,told the Financial Times the EU was determined to respond decisively to any attempts by US lobbyists – many working for large tech groups such as Google and Facebook – to curb the EU data protection law.

"Exempting non-EU companies from our data protection regulation is not on the table. It would mean applying double standards," Reding said.

"Data protection is a fundamental right in Europe which is clearly enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Whilst this may not be the case in other parts of the world, one thing is clear: if companies want to tap into the European market they have to apply European standards."

According to the FT, the US has been aggressively lobbying the European Parliament, which is now currently reviewing the proposal made by the commission. The lobbying effort is increasingly irritating EU privacy regulators.

The tech companies are said to complain the stricter EU law could add administrative burdens and fines.

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