The European Commission is threatening tougher rules to enforce basic consumer rights to privacy, transparency and control on the Internet.
Several major online companies say they plan to cut the time they store personal data and moderate the flow of ads. Meglena Kuneva, the EU’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner, said: “Why do we need action? Because from the point of view of commercial communications the World Wide Web is turning out to be the world “Wild West”. And this could be very damaging. Our research shows that young people between the ages of 15-25, the most confident of internet users, use the internet in spite of the fact that they generally don’t trust it.” Kuneva warns that if the industry fails to offer adequate responses on data collection and profiling, Brussels will not hesitate to intervene. An EU Consumer Summit starting this Wednesday is aimed at gathering interested parties to discuss challenges and opportunities, with a special focus on the Internet.