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EU Resists US Lobbying As Privacy War Looms 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.
judgecorp writes "The European Commission is resisting pressure from US firms and public bodies designed to derail its privacy proposals, which include the 'right to be forgotten' that would allow users to demand their data be removed from Internet sites. Facebook and others oppose the right to be forgotten as it would interfere with their ability to market stuff at friends and connections of their users."
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EU Resists US Lobbying As Privacy War Looms

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:32AM (#42201607)

    ... shouldn't be surprised to find that even with successful lobbying to get the EU's initiatives derailed, they'll suffer backlash from their European market. The cultures (yes, multiple) here, you see, are a tad different from what's accepted in USoA interstate commerce. So you can track your consumers' (because customers would have rights, whereas consumers can be, and so are, sold and bought like CDOs) every move and poke them with the most targeted adverts imaginable, down to while they're at the loo. And instead of phenomenal sales growth, you may just find they get sick of you and you start to lose against everyone who isn't quite that aggressive.

    The USoA government, of course, has European governments well-cowed and will get the data anyway, but that too will, in the long run, bring more grief than joy. Not that anyone'll listen. If recent history teaches anything, it's that Americans[tm] are too full of themselves and their own petty politics (it's like that music, see? they've got gops AND dems 'round here) to listen to, nevermind respect, anyone else.

    Of course, playing nice with others has never been America's strong suit, so why expect them to change now? Just ignore the buggers and hope they don't get a bug up their arses and invade you.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sydin (2598829) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:33AM (#42201613)
    Exactly: after all, what is lobbying? No, the nice gentleman from facebook is not trying to buy my vote on this matter. We are simply good friends who like to take lunch together. Only I have a chronic habit of forgetting my wallet, but he's more than happy to foot the bill. He's also quite fond of my wife, and loves to treat her to the occasional gift of exquisite diamonds and spa trips. But it's okay: he never tries to influence my vote. We're just friends.
  • Re:Don't you love (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wgoodman (1109297) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:45AM (#42201669)

    Who says that giant corporations aren't an enemy to the good of the nation? (aside from them)

  • by enabran (1451761) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:55AM (#42201699)

    Also, any EU regulations on the "right to be forgotten" can be no more than regulations on businesses and is unlikely to apply to such a foundation.

    Er... no. EU powers, including in the area of data protection, do not just apply to businesses.

  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:58AM (#42201717)

    That there is no single "Internet" from which to delete the data. We are talking about a network that contains billions of nodes, any one of which can cache the data, and may do so without even knowing that they are doing so. It's basically a public space.

  • Oh yes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:03AM (#42201735)
    List a few of those stupid rules, that haven't been made up by bonkers Little England newspapers.

    You cannot. Because they do not exist. "Welcome breath of fresh air"? Er no, the Commission has the strange idea that citizens deserve to have their rights protected more than corporations deserve the freedom to take them away. That is why the UK neocons want out of the EU: it stands up for ordinary people.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:16AM (#42201759)

    I don't know where you got the impression that this was about a right to completely scrub oneself from every server on the internet with a magic button. It's about the right to tell a web site, to which you have previously provided information, that it must remove that information.

  • Re:Point of view (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kergan (780543) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:35AM (#42201993)

    The European Commission do indeed do lots of stupid things but I think anything aimed at giving users greater privacy and control over their personal information is a good thing.

    The EC makes shit tons of good stuff that you never hear about. A lot more than bad stuff, in fact.

    The EC's biggest problem stems from EU governments that actively lobby it to pass regulations and directives on unpopular topics. Local politicians seldom mention that their great new reform is a mere transcription into local law of an EU directive (aka something they're obligated to do). In contrast, they'll sure as hell blame EU technocrats (which, incidentally, they named) for coming up with directives that force them to pass much needed yet highly unpopular reforms.

    A case in point is the recent lashing out at the EU over deficit reduction. No politician gets elected in the EU by promising to axe the public sector, axe entitlement programs, raise taxes, and so on. The EU stability pact, in this light, is a blessing: they get to do all that with a convenient scapegoat. Hollande's position on it during the French presidential campaign, in this regard, was exemplary of EU demagoguery. He posed for voters, promising that he'd renegotiate the pact. Upon being elected, he quacked around for a few weeks, in an effort to disguise his pig of a bluff into a not-too-ugly princess. And, now, he can now freely blame his predecessor and the EU to pass the highly unpopular reforms that he knew were much needed from the start. (Whether he actually does remains an open question, but I'd opine that he has little choice.)

  • by Raumkraut (518382) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @07:30AM (#42202261)

    Facebook is alreadly living proof of the fact that people don't care about their privacy.

    Most people don't care about anything, unless and until it affects them personally.
    This is (in theory) why governments enact "nanny state" legislation; to prepare for, and protect its population from, bad things that those who will be affected haven't even considered yet.

    Few people consider about the cost of hospitalisation after a car accident, until they're in one. Hence national health services.
    Few people consider the cost of leaving embarrassing photos on Facebook, until it comes up in a job interview. Hence this legislation.

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