U.S. social networks will face EU privacy rules

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17 March 2011 — Websites including Google and Facebook that operate from the U.S. but which target consumers in Europe will be bound to follow tighter EU privacy and data protection rules being drawn up by the European Union, said Viviane Reding, the EU justice commissioner.

Speaking at "Privacy Platform 2011" in Brussels yesterday — and in an apparent reference to Facebook — Reding said during her speech that "a US-based social network company that has millions of active users in Europe needs to comply with EU rules".

Reding has also been deeply involved in sheltering the private data of EU citizens held by US authorities for counter-terrorism purposes, notably bank and passenger data. She was sharply

critical following a trip to the US last December, stating that "we have noted an apparent lack of interest on the US side to talk seriously about data protection".

Earlier this month the European Parliament found that U.S. requests for European banking data were "too general and too abstract to allow proper evaluation of the necessity of the requested data transfers".

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