The Circuit: E.U. Privacy, Online Piracy, Facebook

The-Washington-Post-logoIn an interview with The Washington Post, the European Union’s chief privacy regulator, Viviane Reding, said that self-regulation measures can be “little more than a fig leaf,” and that every citizen has a right to his or her own data.

She said that recent reform proposals in Europe are aimed at decreasing the fragmentation between E.U. privacy laws to unify the rules for the whole continent. She also discussed her views on data protection and security and the differences in law between the U.S. and Europe.

Battle over online piracy: Several lawmakers expressed their support for the House’s controversial Stop Online Piracy Act in a Wednesday hearing, The Washington Post reported. Critics say that the law, aimed at targeting foreign Web sites that illegally reproduce material copyrighted in the U.S., puts too much burden on U.S. Web businesses. Vague language in the bill, they said, would force companies such as Google or Yahoo to shut down the domain names of infringing sites. Internet service provider Verizon also said the bill would force it to stop Web traffic to counterfeiting sites.

Graphic Facebook images: Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairman of the House subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade, has directed her staff to meet with Facebook for a briefing on the graphic images that appeared on users’ profiles earlier this week. Bono Mack wants to know what, exactly, caused the attack and whether the intrusion could be used to collect personal information from the site.

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