EU urges US to boost data protection

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The EU is urging the U.S. to strengthen data protection practices in order to create a uniform “privacy landscape” on both sides of the Atlantic.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding noted Tuesday that European Internet companies are now offering cloud computing services whose selling point is that they shelter users from the U.S. Patriot Act.

The EU and U.S. are currently negotiating a new data protection agreement, scheduled to go into effect in 2012. But Reding says substantial progress still needs to be made, and Europeans must be confident their privacy is respected whenever personal information is transmitted over the Atlantic.

Reding says “we need free flow of data.”