A coalition of 18 US privacy groups sent a letter on 30 January 2013 to US politicians such as the Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, asking for assurances that US policy makers in Europe “advance the aim of privacy” and do not hinder the European data law proposals.
The European Union is considering the data protection regulation that could give the citizens significant control over the use of their personal data by websites and marketing companies. Several proposals would require companies to obtain permission before collecting personal data and specify exactly what information will be collected and how it will be used.
One proposal refers to the so-called “right to be forgotten” that obliges companies like Facebook to delete all information about users who want to do that. The coalition shows concern over the fact that, as the new EU Data Protection Regulation is under discussion and debate, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have lately reported that US policy makers are “mounting an unprecedented lobbying campaign to limit the protections that European law would provide.”
The privacy groups believe that U.S. policymakers, politicians and bureaucrats are undermining the work of the European Parliament. “The U.S. should not stand in the way of Europe’s efforts to strengthen and modernize its legal framework,” the letter states. Jeff Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy told ZDNet that despite President Obama’s pro-privacy speeches, his administration is “working to protect the U.S. data lobby.”
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