Feeds

Upcoming EU data law will make Europe tricky for Facebook

Must gain explicit consent to use your data

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using 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
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
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
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.