Internet Privacy Regulations: The Right to Be Forgotten

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Talking about privacy, Internet has long been a territory for open debates. EU and United States officials have started developing privacy regulations on how companies such as Facebook and Google should handle users' personal data. The European Commission pulls for protecting Internet privacy and for enforcing companies holding data to allow users to delete it from websites, ensuring their “right to be forgotten”.

Any company operating in the EU or any online system that is targeted at EU consumers must comply with EU rules. The European Commission endows national privacy watchdogs to control legal proceedings even outside Europe. It may cause some tension, as many companies amongst the biggest and most successful  have U.S. based servers, search engines and other data resources.

Though the basic understanding of the rules is similar accross the EU.and U.S. officials, their further implementation may be different. The main debates fall on two controversial points: EU officials determined that companies should get specific permission from users before they use their personal data, whilst  U.S. regulators are unclear on this matter. The right to be forgotten is also an ambiguous concept for U.S. regulators, as they stand for a broader definition of freedom of information and web anonymity.

Some huge companies support the official attempts to align the regulations, as it might help creating clearer and more common rules. And that might turn out to be the hardest task – privacy rules vary greatly even within the EU, and a multinational company might face difficulties trying to comply with all EU countries regulations.


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