Privacy is “Private” Again

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This week a new regulation aiming to protect Internet privacy is being discussed in the European Union. According to it, social networking sites and search engines will have to report on the private information they have collected. The European Commission is also planning to introduce the “right to be forgotten” policy, which will allow users to withdraw the personal information they no longer wish to share from different sites and social networks.

These regulations will apply not only to EU residents, but to all products and services widely-spread among European citizens. Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, has announced that any company operating in the EU market or any online product that is targeted at EU consumers must comply with EU rules.

To enforce the new regulations, the EU is planning to organize special comitees which will be endowed with powers to investigate and engage in legal proceedings against non-EU data controllers.

Along with legal measures, software development is going to be evaluated. This will include some privacy safeguards initially embedded into web products, for example the “do not track” option in Internet browsers. It will allow users to maintain a high level of Web anonymity.


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