Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Going American on Privacy

From the opinion: “ …the E.U.’s stringent mindset has resulted in a determination by Brussels that U.S. privacy regulation is “inadequate,” and thus companies are prohibited from transferring personal information from Europe to the United States (even concerning their own employees) unless significant bureaucratic hurdles can be jumped. Perhaps even more ominous, there is a move afoot in Europe to shun U.S.-based providers of Cloud computing services because alleged U.S. weakness on privacy and exaggerated concerns about the PATRIOT Act make America too unsafe for the personal information of Europeans.

This view is wrong, and ultimately self-defeating for Europe, whose consumers and businesses could miss out on the full promise of Internet innovation and digital efficiencies. We could even see the rise of transatlantic digital skirmishes where U.S. Clouds are deemed unsafe (German and other regulators on the Continent have said precisely that), and where U.S. Internet companies have to curtail their business practices and offerings to satisfy European data protection authorities who do not like “Like” buttons and other information-sharing features of social media.” Read more