[WashingtonInternetDaily] Proposed New Data Protection Rules Said Bad for Internet Business, Potentially Good for Users

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A compromise package for reform of Europe’s data protection rules set for a vote this week in the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee could either boost safeguards for online users or threaten the very existence of some Internet business models, stakeholders said. […]

The compromise package to be adopted contains many good parts, beefed up from the EC’s initial proposal, along with “vast and dangerous loopholes,” said La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann. He also slammed the “outrageously vague notion” of “general interest” as an exception to regulation and the provision on profiling, saying such loopholes could make the entire measure ineffective.

After the vote, there will be chances for the European Parliament to fix the text, but also to neutralize it during negotiations with EU governments during the “trilogues” aimed at reaching agreement among the EU institutions before the elections, Zimmermann told us. “It is the beginning of such an arm wrestle,” he said. “We’ll see if the Parliament can effectively stand for the protection of citizens, [especially] in the context of massive violation of their fundamental freedoms” by U.S. companies and intelligence agencies, he said. La Quadrature Monday urged LIBE rapporteur Albrecht not to seek a negotiating mandate for first-reading agreement via trilogue, saying it will mean that talks take place behind closed doors, with no chance for open debate.

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