EU to revisit privacy laws

Jan. 28, 2010 at 4:04 PM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The European Commission said Thursday it would update its privacy protection laws to keep up with the digital age in which 1995 laws now appear outdated.

The announcement is, in effect, a snub at Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook who recently called the concept of privacy an anachronism, the EUobserver reported.

In a statement, the commission "warned that data protection rules must be updated to keep abreast of technological change to ensure the right to privacy."

Viviane Reding, Commission for Information, Society and Media, said a "clear, modern set of rules" were needed. She mentioned Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter as Web sites that had pushed the information superhighway into new territory.

Reding said she would start by revising the 1995 Data Protection Directive with a focus on extending the rules that focused on the European Community, but required extensions to cover foreign policy and judicial affairs.

"Whether we want it or not, almost every day we share personal data about ourselves. These data are collected, processed and then stored out of our sight," Reding said.

"Sometimes it is necessary," she said. But, "data are being collected without our consent and often without our knowledge. This is where European law comes in."

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