Thursday

23rd Sep 2021

Obama launches online bill of rights

  • The Obama administration has published its own online bill of rights (Photo: The Israel Project)

US President Barack Obama on Thursday (23 February) unveiled a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights aimed at improving data privacy protection on the Internet.

The bill, which forms part of a White House report: 'Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World', would give users more control over how their personal information is obtained and used on the Internet.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The draft bill’s provisions include giving consumers the right to exercise control over the personal data organisations collect from them and how they use it. It will also offer the right to access and correct personal data and set out limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain, as well as creating a citizens’ right to secure handling of their personal data. Elsewhere, the bill includes a ‘respect for context’ clause, under which organisations would be required to use and collect data only in the context that it was provided.

In a statement accompanying the proposal, President Obama said: “American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online. As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy.”

The proposal from the Obama administration, which comes just weeks after the European Commission put forward revisions to the EU’s Data Protection directive, is a clear sign that the US is moving away from the predominantly self-regulatory approach that it has traditionally taken.

It follows growing public outcry about the misuse of personal data by companies, with the US –regulator the Federal Trade Commission also attacking Google and Facebook in January for breaching data privacy commitments.

Following recent allegations over privacy breaches caused by smartphone and tablet computer applications, Apple, Google and Microsoft were among six technology giants that agreed on Wednesday (22 February) to provide greater privacy disclosures before users download them.

However, although the US Privacy Bill marks a step away from industry self-regulation, it appears to be less radical that the EU Commission’s draft directive, which hopes to establish a new European Data Protection Board to enforce the regime of its digital single market.

The provisions on consumer rights do not include the ‘right to be forgotten’, whereby users can demand that a company show what data it holds on them and also insist that it deletes all copies.

Moreover, with the US Presidential and Congressional elections coming in November, the bill is unlikely to become law during President Obama’s current term.

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

News in Brief

  1. French ambassador to return to US after Macron-Biden call
  2. Borrell: EU needs armed force independent of US
  3. Polish region does U-turn on gay rights
  4. Johnson makes fun of French anger on submarine deal
  5. Ukraine vows 'tough response' after gun attack on top aide
  6. Poland again delays ruling on primacy of EU law
  7. EU to table emergency proposals on gas-price surge
  8. EU delays first set of anti-greenwashing rules

Investigation

EU negotiators defend high Covid vaccines prices paid to pharma

In September 2020, the EU Commission's top vaccine negotiator made a pledge - doses would cost between €5 and €15, Sandra Gallina assured MEPs. Little did she know that her fixed cap would crumble under pressure from jabmakers.

Opinion

The EU's 'backyard' is not in the Indo-Pacific

Europe is no longer an Indo-Pacific power. It will not become an Indo-Pacific power. And if it keeps overreaching its geopolitical ambitions, Europe might lose its credibility as a power - entirely.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring
  2. Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body
  3. Lead energy MEP silent on gas meetings before vote
  4. WHO makes major cut in 'safe' air-pollution levels
  5. EU negotiators defend high Covid vaccines prices paid to pharma
  6. The EU's 'backyard' is not in the Indo-Pacific
  7. French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote
  8. Europeans think new 'Cold War' is here - but not for them

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us