Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

EU Fails to Speed Up Privacy Rule in Spite of Merkel Spy Tension

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- European Union leaders dropped a 2014 deadline to complete an overhaul of the bloc’s data privacy laws even as they condemned allegations that the U.S. eavesdropped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Leaders called for a strengthened data-protection law to be introduced in a “timely” fashion. A draft version of their summit statement had language seeking its adoption next year. A U.K.-led group urged a slowdown to consider the effect of the legislation on businesses.

“We stressed that we have to speed up the work, but it is a complex task. It’s not only related to the already difficult issues of protecting privacy, but it is also an impact on business,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy said after the first day of a two-day summit. “We have to study this carefully.”

The overhaul of the privacy law, which could result in U.S.-based companies including Google Inc., Facebook Inc., and Apple Inc. facing fines as high as 100 million euros ($138 million) for data-protection violations, was endorsed by a panel of EU lawmakers this week. National governments have to agree to the proposals before they can become law. At the summit, leaders called for adoption of the law as part of the introduction of new telecom rules in 2015.

“We think there’s too much red tape in the proposal,” Markus Beyrer, director general of European business federation BusinessEurope, told reporters before the summit. “We think there are too many things which might hurt data flow, which might hinder growth.”

Under the draft rules backed by the EU lawmakers’ panel Oct. 21, social networks or search-engine operators that get requests to transfer or disclose data processed in the EU would need the permission of national regulators. They would also have to inform the person concerned.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net; Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net; Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.