The White House and European Union Privacy Proposals

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First in a Two-Part Series

The Obama Administration and the European Union (EU) have recently submitted two major proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on the ongoing discussions regarding consumer privacy in our increasingly globalized and connected economy. On February 23, 2012, the White House announced its proposal for Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy (Framework) which suggests adoption and implementation of a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” for the Internet aimed at providing “clear protections for consumers and greater certainty for companies.” Approximately one month earlier, on January 25, 2012, the European Commission — the executive body of the EU responsible for drafting and submitting legislation — proposed a comprehensive new General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation) that, for the first time, would have all EU member states follow mandatory and consistent rules for data protection and privacy.

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