EU wants tougher privacy laws  (Source: Reuters)
EU Wants Stronger Privacy Rules for Web Companies

Authorities and consumers all around the world are concerned with the same things when they are online. Those concerns include how their data is used and how their personal data is stored. Google and many other large web companies have come under increasing scrutiny over how they handle the massive amount of personal data that is stored on servers.

In the European Union, a push for stronger privacy rules is under way with regulators wanting to give more power to authorities tasked with protecting personal data in the EU member nations. The new rules would be an overhaul of laws that are now 15-years-old.  An official statement from the European Commission said, "Benefits of ... technology to individuals, businesses and public authorities must go hand-in-hand with the necessary respect for personal data."

EU member states are looking to overhaul privacy laws and to make them the same across the 27 member states so that the laws are easier to enforce and companies operating across member states will have an easier time understanding and complying with the new laws. The new laws come as huge websites like Facebook look to monetize the wealth of personal data by allowing access to the data by third parties, and as sites like Google admit to privacy issues.

Google has been under investigation around the world in multiple countries for capturing data that included emails and at times passwords with its Streetview vehicle fleet. Google maintains that the capturing of the data was accidental and the data was not used in any Google products. Some are worried about the ability of EU regulators to enforce new privacy laws with some saying it's unclear exactly how companies could be forced to comply with the new regulations.

Reuters quotes Thomas Zerdick, an expert on data protection for the Commission saying, "It's worthwhile giving this [new privacy laws] a try."

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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