Feeds

Upcoming EU data law will make Europe tricky for Facebook

Must gain explicit consent to use your data

Security for virtualized datacentres

EU-ro-crats are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for Facebook and other social networks.

The EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner, met in Brussels for a consultation this week to draw up proposals for the EU's new data protection directive to be presented in January 2012.

Their ambitions should already be sending tremors back to Zuckerberg's headquarters in Palo Alto - just as Reding promised in an earlier Reg interview. These goals in particular will cause trouble:

EU law should require that consumers give their explicit consent before their data are used. And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

How the detail plays out will be crucial – for example the meaning of "deleted". Facebook famously stores all its data forever, though that data isn't available to users. Google is also likely to run into trouble over the idea of gaining a user's "explicit consent" before using their data. However the specifics fall out, it looks like EU is gearing up for a clash and fall only just short of outright naming Facebook when it states the width of its remit.

We both believe that companies who direct their services to European consumers should be subject to EU data protection laws. Otherwise, they should not be able to do business on our internal market. This also applies to social networks with users in the EU.

EU law will be enforced even if the company is based in a third country and has its data centres outside the EU, the statement reaffirmed.

Current EU data protection laws are due an upgrade, as the last Data Protective Directive dates from 1995.

Expect sparks to fly when these proposals come out in January. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.