Alexa

EU wants tighter online privacy

EU wants tighter online privacy

The European Union wants to give individuals more say on how their data is collected and used when surfing online _ including the ability to permanently delete photos and other information on social networking sites.
The new data-protection strategy set out Thursday could affect the business practices of Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and other Internet companies
The plan will form the basis for an overhaul of the EU's 15-year old laws on data protection scheduled for next year.
"The protection of personal data is a fundamental right," Viviane Reding, the EU's justice commissioner, said in a statement. "To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization."
Internet users should be able to permanently delete photos and other information on social networking sites, the strategy says. They should also "be able to give their informed consent to the processing of their personal data" when surfing online.
Using an individual's search history to target online advertising is a key revenue source for companies such as Yahoo! Inc. and Google. Other sites use cookies or pop-up windows to collect data entered online.
Google and its rivals have argued that Internet companies can regulate themselves, for instance by allowing users to "opt out" of having their information stored. They also say that they never link an individual's data to his name or address.
However, privacy activists say that recent breaches of companies' own policies show that self-regulation is not enough.
Google has come under fire after vans collecting data for its StreetView application also scooped up sensitive information from unprotected wireless networks.
Facebook last month acknowledged that 10 of its most popular "apps" transmitted information about its users to advertisers and data-gathering firms.


Updated : 2021-04-12 10:22 GMT+08:00