Officials in the European Union want to see European Internet users given more control over their online privacy settings, and more say in the matter of private data companies mining their personal info from Facebook. Neelie Kroes, the EU’s Internet chief, set a meeting in June for companies to get together and standardize web privacy in Europe as well as to develop a better version of the privacy tool Do Not Track, a program that prevents data companies from taking info. However, the deadline passed with no action being taken.
The meeting, called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sought to standardize Do Not Track and put all companies in Europe on the same level. Companies like Facebook are strongly resisting Europe’s privacy push, because the move could mean millions of dollars in lost advertising revenue.
“I am increasingly concerned about the delay, and about the turn taken by the discussions hosted by the W3C,” Kroes planned to say in a statement on Thursday.
As has been illustrated several times over the past few months in incidents such as Ireland’s investigation of Facebook’s privacy settings and Norway’s investigation of Facebook facial identification software, European nations are much more hesitant to embrace Facebook than Americans are. Why do you think European governments are more leery of Facebook’s privacy issues, and conversely, why do you think most mainstream Americans don’t seem to make a fuss?
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