European Commission warns web companies on privacy abuse

06 Apr European Commission warns web companies on privacy abuse

Bloomberg, April 3, 2009

Brussels: Meglena Kuneva, the European Union’s consumer commissioner, warned internet companies they could face regulation if they abuse personal information and do not respect customers’ privacy. “If there is a need to regulate and to protect consumers from bad traders, we will do it,” Kuneva told journalists in Brussels. Facebook Inc, operator of the world’s largest social-networking site, was forced to revise its privacy principles in February after users complained about a policy change that let it keep customers’ photos and content, even if users closed their Facebook accounts. Kuneva said businesses must establish transparency principles, with clear language, that allow users to control their personal data. She said she was giving companies a “last chance” to improve the situation or face regulation.