[NyTimes] E.U. Debates Which Nation Will Regulate Web Privacy

The new European Parliament that was voted into office over the weekend, despite having a different political makeup, is widely expected to reach a final agreement this year on stricter online privacy rules that have long been in the works. [...]

The legislation is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. It has gained momentum since the revelations from Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, about the spying activities of American and British intelligence agencies. Before the rules go into effect, though, each country in the union must reach a final agreement with the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, and the European Parliament. [...]

Industry groups have raised fears that the new laws would add extra costs, because companies must explicitly tell consumers on a regular basis how their data is used, and limit what information is sent to countries that do not comply with Europe’s privacy rules. Yet companies have supported giving one regulator sole control over interpreting European rules. That, they say, adds regulatory certainty because companies will be responsible to just one authority across the region. [...]