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During a speech in Brussels yesterday on the European Commission’s draft proposal of a revised data protection regulation, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said lobbyists’ “predictions of doom are not justified. Data protection law has not fallen from the sky.” U.S. technology companies have lobbied for provisions of the draft to be removed entirely, including provisions on user consent. But Reding noted in her speech that all 27 national data protection authorities agree that consent should be explicit within the final regulation. “What will this mean in practice?...Hundreds of pop-ups on your screens? Smartphones thrown on the floor in frustration? No. It means none of these things. This is only the scaremongering of certain lobbyists,” she said. She added U.S. companies will be required to play by European rules. However, ZDNet reports that a year after its introduction and amidst such controversy, the commission may “water down” some aspects of the draft proposal. A number of member states—including the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium—have said the proposed rules are too prescriptive.
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