Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may face more stringent privacy rules if the European Union pushes through with proposed changes to a draft law, reports Businessweek. These modifications, if approved, will require all three internet titans to allow users shift their personal data to competitors. The recommendations to amend the proposed rules were inspired by a report published on Tuesday. The report implies that it is important for people to have control over their personal data.
Under these proposed amendments, the EU data protection watchdogs would, in an unprecedented case, be at liberty to fine companies, which negligibly or intentionally violate these rules, as much as 2 percent of their yearly global sales.
Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green Party politician spearheading the effort in parliament, argued that these amendments were not only important but were also needed to be free of charge. “Social networks should let users move information from one platform to another and get precisely what sort of details companies have on them, free of charge,” he said. In a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, Albrecht echoed that data protection was a fundamental right. “if you want my data, ask me for consent,” he remarked.
Prolonged ‘tag of war’ spills over into 2013
The long lasting ‘tag of war’ on privacy issues between internet giants and European users has spilled over into 2013. Last year was plagued with similar privacy issues and as we reported on Monday. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, could face a €20,000 fine over the anonymous accounts ban. Commenting on the fine, a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) spokesman made it clear that the company would stage a vigorous fight. To cement its position over the whole privacy issue, Facebook’s today yet again said that some of the aspects of the report did not support a ‘flourishing European digital single market.’ Today’s remarks were made by Erika Mann, Facebook’s head of EU policy in Brussels.
Incidentally, the Industrial Coalition for Data Protection, in which Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft are members, also criticized the report. Nonetheless, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) did not share their exclusive insights on the issue, choosing to take an alternate road from their peer Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).