EU data protection reform to replace national laws

BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union wants to create one “level playing field” when it comes to data protection, and plans to update laws that have been around long before Facebook and other social networking sites even existed.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Monday that social networks must become more open about how they operate. Under her proposals, businesses ? including Internet service providers ? would have additional responsibilities such as having to inform users of what data about them is being collected, for what purpose, and how it is stored.

EU regulators have been concerned about the use of personal data by commercial online services to attract advertisers, saying they want to make sure that the data and citizens’ Internet privacy rights are respected.