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Consumer Groups Praise EU Privacy Regime

Consumer groups Wednesday sent letters to European Union
lawmakers in support of proposed new privacy laws.

Those laws would expand the definition of personal
information, strengthen consent requirements, establish the ability to limit
online profiling, mandate breach notifications and more.

In their letter, the almost two-dozen groups including the
Center for Digital Democracy, Consumers Union, and Consumer Federation of
America, expressed their support for what they called "important new

U.S. companies, and the Administration, are concerned about
EU dictating a privacy regime that could become a de facto standard for
increasingly global companies.

"The protections contained in the Privacy Regulation
implement the basic human right of the individual to autonomy and control of
personal information. Furthermore, by protecting against abusive data
practices, security breaches, and identity theft, the Privacy Regulation will
increase trust and confidence in the digital marketplace," the groups

"We know from a recent meeting in D.C. held by from the
EU [member states], that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other U.S. businesses,
and the Obama Administration have been lobbying them on the privacy
legislation," said a source with one of the groups. "What the EU does
can become the global privacy standard, which is why the U.S. government and
our commercial interests are so alarmed."