Wednesday

20th Sep 2017

Focus

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Investigation

EU bank accused of muzzling watchdog

An ongoing review of the the European Investment Bank's "complaints mechanism" could make the oversight branch less independent and less effective.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  2. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  3. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  6. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  7. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  8. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  9. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies
  10. EU2017EEAre We Socially Insured in the Future of Work?
  11. European Jewish CongressFrench Authorities to Root Out "Societal Antisemitism" After Jewish Family Assaulted
  12. European Federation of Local Energy CompaniesClean Energy for All? On 10.10 Top-Level Speakers Present the Clean Energy Package