Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Justice Commissioner, said in a speech for the Privacy Platform “The Review of the EU Data Protection Framework” that social networks need to comply to the European laws if they have information about European citizens.
In her speech she elaborated on the four pillars of privacy law in the EU:
- the “right to be forgotten” : a comprehensive set of existing and new rules to better cope with privacy risks online.
- “transparency” : is a fundamental condition for exercising control over personal data and for building trust in the Internet.
- “privacy by default” : Privacy settings often require considerable operational effort in order to be put in place.
- “protection regardless of data location” : means that homogeneous privacy standards for European citizens should apply independently of the area of the world in which their data is being processed.
Although she did not name Facebook, she gave an example in her speech which made it almost crystal clear that she meant Facebook.
She said : a US-based social network company that has millions of active users in Europe needs to comply with EU rules. To enforce the EU law, national privacy watchdogs shall be endowed with powers to investigate and engage in legal proceedings against non-EU data controllers whose services target EU consumers.
Question remains … will Facebook care and take action ?
The full version of her speech can be found here.