Consumer Groups Encourage US Congress to Learn from EU Data Protection Directive

EPIC writes today that The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, a coalition of 85 organizations from America and Europe, sent a letter to the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade just before a hearing on the EU’s approach to protecting internet privacy, in which it invites the Congress to learn from the EU data protection directive.

The opinion of the 85 organizations is harsh, to say the least, towards US privacy legal framework.

“Given the widespread agreement across consumer protection in both Europe and the United States that the United States lacks adequate privacy safeguards and that the US privacy laws lag woefully behind current technology and business practices, we expected a hearing that would focus on the lessons that the Congress might draw from the EU experience with data protection.”

…the EU Data Directive is a concise statement of principles that make clear to business and consumers what their rights and obligations are. Unlike the extraordinarily complicated regulatory process that the United States tends to follow (the “HIPAA” rules are more than 1,500 pages), EU privacy law is reasonably straightforward relying on commonsense terms and not a lot of legalese.

You can find the whole letter HERE.

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade has scheduled a hearing on September 15, 2011. The hearing is entitled “Internet Privacy: The Impact and Burden of EU Regulation.” It seems that the signatory groups are concerned about the “Burden” part of the hearing’s theme.

You can find the background of the hearing HERE.

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