non-EU companies have to adhere to EU privacy law


Viviane Reding (VP European Commission) is making sure that the message is clear that non-EU companies have to adhere to the new stringent EU privacy laws?  Speech Any company that is active within the 27-nation region of the EU or even possesses a digital product line targeting an European audience must adhere to EU standards. 

The new rules go even further than controversial American “Do Not Track” initiatives. 

This EU initiative proposes to create national watchdog agencies across Europe to investigate and launch national and EU-wide legal proceedings, presumably with the possibility of civil damages awards against violators. "A U.S.-based social network company that has millions of active users in Europe needs to comply with EU rules," says Reding

"Privacy standards for European citizens should apply independently of the area of the world in which their data is being processed."

Worthy of note in the EU proposals for non-EU companies are:-

Companies must begin to integrate a clear opt-in policy for any "borderline" marketing strategy that may possibly be categorized as "targeting."

Force automatic "personal information breach" notification systems on data collection companies. 

Possible requirement that your non-EU companies internal data management policies be placed under EU scrutiny for adherence to their standards. 


When I think about the model of digital data I come from the viewpoint of asking the question, “what are we trying to do with the data?”  Ultimately we are trying to bias the game in our own favour.  The game, I suggest that we are playing is to take data from dark data storage onto brightly lit screens. If this is the game, then what I would like to do is know from your data who influences you and who you influence. Determining this is hard, but once found do we need to keep all the data and track everything and have we not got the rules all wrong about protection. 

The question I am left with is “would be better to get companies to throw data away rather than keeping it?”