Home > Censorship, Government, Protest, Surveillance > Data Protection: All You Need to Know about the EU Privacy Debate.

Data Protection: All You Need to Know about the EU Privacy Debate.

By Konrad Lischka and Christian Stöcker  January 18th, 2013.  Find Full Article Here:-

Mining your data: The European Union's institutions are currently split on Internet privacy reform.

The European Union is seeking to increase the private sphere of its citizens by strengthening data protection laws for the web. Large Internet firms and lobbyists are fighting the plans. Here’s an overview of the debate in Brussels.

When it comes to hysteria over coming data protection rules in Europe, the most extremist warnings from lobbyists these days are coming out of the law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse. The head of the firm’s privacy and information law group, Eduardo Ustaran, recently told the American technology news service ZDNet that if the EU’s draft privacy and data protection law isn’t changed, Gmail and Facebook may be forced to abandon their ad-supported models and start charging their customers in Europe or stop providing them with these popular services altogether.

“If they weren’t able to use your data in the way that is profitable or useful for them for advertising purposes, then either the user has to pay for it or stop using the service,” Ustaran, whose company represents Facebook, Google and Zynga among other companies, told ZDNet.

Not even industry associations representing the IT industry, who have been particularly critical of the draft European Data Protection Regulation, have gone that far. The demonstratively dark picture Ustaran paints of the regulations shows just how tough the fight between Web giants and regulators is growing over the issue of data protection reform.

So why has the debate grown so shrill? SPIEGEL ONLINE takes a stab at the most pressing questions.

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