Consumer Groups Praise EU Privacy Regime


Consumer groups Wednesday sent letters to European Union lawmakers in support of proposed new privacy laws.

Those laws would expand the definition of personal information, strengthen consent requirements, establish the ability to limit online profiling, mandate breach notifications and more.

In their letter, the almost two-dozen groups including the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumers Union, and Consumer Federation of America, expressed their support for what they called "important new protections."

U.S. companies, and the Administration, are concerned about EU dictating a privacy regime that could become a de facto standard for increasingly global companies.

"The protections contained in the Privacy Regulation implement the basic human right of the individual to autonomy and control of personal information. Furthermore, by protecting against abusive data practices, security breaches, and identity theft, the Privacy Regulation will increase trust and confidence in the digital marketplace," the groups said.

"We know from a recent meeting in D.C. held by from the EU [member states], that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other U.S. businesses, and the Obama Administration have been lobbying them on the privacy legislation," said a source with one of the groups. "What the EU does can become the global privacy standard, which is why the U.S. government and our commercial interests are so alarmed."