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Wednesday, 09 January 2013 12:36

EU set to crack down on Google and Facebook

Written by Nick Farrell



Stop flogging people’s data


Internet companies such as Facebook and Google may have to get more permission to use customer information if the European Union gets its way.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Member of the European Parliament wants to limit companies' ability to use and sell data, such as internet browsing habits, to advertising companies. He said that users must be informed about what happens with their data," said who is driving the reform. And they must be able to consciously agree to data processing - or reject it.

Of course Facebook and Google are wetting themselves over the news.  They have both made a thriving business flogging user data as close to the law will allow for ages. Albrecht is a Green politician and has penned a report which builds on an agreement the EU made last year for tougher data protection. The European Parliament, the Commission and the bloc's 27 countries will seek an agreement on the rules in coming months.

Erika Mann, head of EU policy for Facebook, claimed that some aspects of the report do not support a flourishing European digital single market and the reality of innovation on the internet. One standard excuse we are noticing now from Internet companies when faced with such problems is a tendency to bleat that somehow internet innovation will be stuffed up.

Surely it would be more innovative to make money from the internet without having to peddle other people’s secrets?

Nick Farrell

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