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EC May Soften Proposed Regulation

PRIVACY LAW—EU

March 7, 2013

A year after its introduction and amidst controversy, the European Commission may “water down” aspects of its proposed data protection regulation, ZDNet reports. A number of member states—including the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium—have said the proposed rules are too prescriptive. U.S. technology companies have lobbied for provisions of the draft to be removed entirely. During a speech in Brussels today, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said lobbyists’ “predictions of doom are not justified. Data protection law has not fallen from the sky.” She cited an “overblown discussion on consent,” noting 27 national data protection authorities agree that user consent should be explicit in the final regulation. “What will this mean in practice?...Hundreds of pop-ups on your screens? Smartphones thrown in the floor in frustration? No. It means none of these things. This is only the scaremongering of certain lobbyists,” she said. The commission’s Justice Committee will meet this week to discuss the proposal.
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