The minister for culture, communications and the internet has urged the US and the European Commission (EC) to work together to produce a single set of regulations to cover issues around online privacy.
Ed Vaizey said at a London event on Tuesday attended by V3.co.uk that a consensus had to be reached to ensure that the privacy rights of consumers and businesses are respected in the digital world.
"With TV, radio and publishing, governments can to an extent set their own rules. These are mediums that respect national boundaries. The internet does not. When we place information on the internet, we are sharing it with the world," he said.
"The rules governing online privacy need to reflect that. For the sake of web users and businesses we need a unified and consistent approach to online privacy that crosses borders."
Vaizey explained that the US and the EC should collaborate to provide benefits to consumers and businesses.
"I believe it is therefore vital that the Commission works closely with the US administration so that we can move towards a unified approach that will benefit consumers and businesses alike on both sides of the Atlantic," he said.
"Creating an international standard for online privacy will ensure businesses compete on a level playing field while web users enjoy the same protections wherever a web site is based."
Vaizey also questioned whether a right to be forgotten, as promoted by European commissioner Viviane Reding as a central component to changes in the Data Protection Directive, would work in reality.
"How do we enforce the 'right to be forgotten' when data can be copied and transferred across the globe in an instant? We should not give people false expectations," he said.
"No government can guarantee that photos shared with the world will be deleted by everyone when someone decides it's time to forget."
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