23 US Public Interest Groups Back European Union Data Protection Regulation

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WASHINGTON – A coalition of 23 US consumer, privacy and public interest groups today wrote the European Parliament expressing strong support for the proposed European Data Protection Regulation because “we believe that the promotion of stronger privacy standards in Europe will benefit consumers around the globe.”

“We write now to underscore the urgency of adopting strong data protection legislation in the European Union. The extent of data collection and access by US intelligence agencies (and the involvement of US Internet firms) is much greater than we were aware,” the groups said. “Moreover, the US Congress has so far failed to take necessary steps to update US privacy law or to rein in the activities of the National Security Agency. As a consequence, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic remain at risk – our most sensitive data is too readily available for scrutiny and misuse.”

The groups said that they are optimistic that the privacy laws in the United States will eventually be updated and address the concerns of US consumers. “But in the meantime it is clear that the European Union offers the best prospect for the protection of Internet users around the globe,” they said.

Those signing the letter are: American Civil Liberties Union, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy, Center for Media Justice, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Defending Dissent Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Essential Information, Free Press, Friends of Privacy USA, Government Accountability Project, Knowledge Ecology International, Media Alliance, Media Literacy Project, Media Mobilizing Project, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Patient Privacy Rights, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Public Citizen, Privacy Times, and USPIRG.

Read the text of the letter here:

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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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