Plans to boost data protection legislation are being delayed because of an internal dispute within the European Union over the governing of spam.
EU telecoms ministers arguing yesterday that spam should be banned outright, found themselves at odds with the European Parliament which simply wants to restrict spam to those recipients who give prior permission.
The spat follows on from the EU's previous vote on cookie usage at the end of last month, which warned that companies using cookies on their websites might be in breach of the Data Protection Act.
The data protection issues at stake here are part of a larger bill designed to give governments more power to track down criminals and terrorists using electronic communications.
One area on which the European assembly is agreed is that governments should be able to temporarily suspend normal consumer protection rules for reasons of national security.
The crux of the proposed measure would require that service providers retain user log files indefinitely, an idea which meets tough opposition from businesses because of the cost.
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