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EU calls for stricter privacy rules online

  |   March 17, 2011 at 8:25 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 17 (UPI) -- European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding says she will introduce stringent privacy rules to protect users of Internet social networking sites.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Reding said people have a "right to be forgotten online," The Guardian reported.

Reding said her proposals would force Facebook and other social networking sites to "comply with EU rules."

"I want to explicitly clarify that people shall have the right –- and not only the possibility –- to withdraw their consent to data processing," Reding said. "The burden of proof should be on data controllers –- those who process your personal data. They must prove that they need to keep the data, rather than individuals having to prove that collecting their data is not necessary."

She said the proposals would allow consumers to withdraw their consent to the sharing of their data.

"And after you have withdrawn your consent, there shouldn't even be a ghost of your data left on some server somewhere," Reding spokesman Matthew Newman said. "It's your data and it should be gone for good."

Facebook said it is already in compliance with EU law.

"Facebook is fully engaged in the debates around the review of the European Union's data protection directive," Facebook spokeswoman Sophy Silver said. "We work closely with data protection authorities across the EU and with the European Commission and Parliament."

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