All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Outrage as MEPs accused of amending data law proposals after Google and Amazon lobbying

21 Feb 2013
Euro Parliament

A vote by Members of European Parliament (MEP) on new data protection laws has drawn outrage after they were accused of watering down the proposals to appease large corporations like Amazon, Google and BT.

The proposals for a new Data Protection Directive were first unveiled at the start of 2012 by the European Commission (EC) and are currently being debated through Parliament at a European level, with a view to becoming law by 2015.

In the latest stage of the process the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) committee voted through the proposals but with significant changes. These included removing fines of two percent of turnover for data breaches and reducing the control consumers would have over their data.

This has drawn outrage from advocacy groups, including the Open Right's Group, who were in Brussels during the week to watch the events unfold.

"EU Parliament is succumbing to enormous pressure and misinformation from companies like Google and Amazon through to BT," said Peter Bradwell, from the organisation.

"The bottom line is that these companies collect information in incredible detail about us, but want to reduce the rights we have over that data."

He explained the changes included weakening the meaning of consent, narrowing the definition of personal information so certain types have less protection, and creating a loophole to allow companies to use data for purposes unrelated to the original collection.

"That would mean companies could pass information on to third parties, who could then use it for purposes unrelated to the originally collection so long as it is in their own 'legitimate interest'," he said.

"That completely undermines people's ability to control how their information is used."

BT defended its involvement, claiming it was necessary to ensure any changes to laws did not hinder innovation or harm businesses.

"As a multinational company, BT handles a large amount of personal data and we welcome the opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue on this draft EU Regulation - both directly and via our association with trade bodies such as the CBI," it said.

"We recognise that with technological development there is a need to update the existing law, but any changes must balance the need for innovation and growth with the rights of the individual - whilst avoiding the potential for crippling administration costs."

V3 contacted Amazon and Google for comment but had received no reply at time of publication.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

More on Law
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

IT curriculum poll

With coding now compulsory in schools, how important are digital skills for the next generation of school leavers?
63%
9%
19%
9%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Security Summit

V3 Security Summit Day 2: Botnet, skills and BYOD intelligence incoming

Keep V3 bookmarked for news updates on all the key security concerns and topics facing businesses

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

PMO Analyst

PMO Analyst An excellent opportunity for the successful...

Development Manager

Development Manager - One of the UKs Superbrands are...

Senior Marketing Analyst

Senior Marketing Analyst Our client a leading CRM...

Web Analytics Developer

Web Analytics Developer Want to work for a leading online...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.