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Old and New Worlds clash over e-privacy legislation

We came here to get away from that sort of thing, claims Land of the Free

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US and European cultural divisions are emerging in the governance of the Internet and electronic trading. Broadly speaking, the US favours protection of business over consumer rights, but the EU’s new regulations to protect private data across the Union’s 15 member countries runs contrary to routine business practices of US companies. They make extensive use of personal data in sales and marketing campaigns. The new regulations could restrict their use of personal data on EU citizens, and American diplomats are warning that the US will complain to the World Trade Organisation if the legislation damages US businesses. The EU rules state that personal data should be transmitted to non-EU countries only if that data receives the same degree of protection as in Europe. The US can't make that commitment and European consumer bodies are worried that anything less than blanket coverage undermines the privacy rights of its 370 million European citizens. ® Click for more stories

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