European Parliament Data Delete Debate

Published Thursday, March 12, 2009 -

The European Parliament is considering a measure that would try to provide more protection for users of the Internet. Greek MEP Stavros Lambrinidis is preparing a report that calls for a more efficient means of protection of user data. The debate carried on thus far is primarily concerned with freedom on the internet. "The police, private companies, criminals all want to have as wide as possible access to our personal information; be it for legal or illegal purposes.
The monitoring of individuals could turn our societies stealthily into a Big Brother society," Mr. Lambrinidis said.

Lambrinidis speaking at a hearing stated, "Internet companies and governments clearly have a lot more power and knowledge than individual users."

Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor brought up the subject of youth awareness today spotlighting the sharing personal data. Hustinx also said that the rules and values we apply in the real world, also apply to the web. Professor Stefano Rodota of the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, said, " Freedom needs to be regulated, yet we want to let the internet thrive,"

The report, by Mr. Lambrinidis is due to be discussed by the whole European Parliament the week of March 23 during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France.

As online activity rises the potential for misuse of information also increases as well as a growing need for A Consumer Bill of Rights. Northern Europe is an advanced region in information and communication technology, being led by Sweden, although recently South Korea is becoming a serious contender moving into second place, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway follow closely behind. All will require rules for cyberspace information strorage and use. Mr. Lambrinidis warned we will need, "the right to obtain the permanent deletion of personal data located on internet websites."

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